WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT EVICTIONS
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT EVICTIONS
The NYS Eviction Moratorium has ended.
Some evictions may still be prevented or delayed.
Your landlord may now be able to evict you.
Courts are open. If you get court papers or a letter from the court, DO NOT IGNORE THEM.
If you get court papers or a letter from the court, you can call Neighborhood Legal Services at 716 847-0650. We can look over your court papers and let you know whether your eviction can be stopped or put off.
You may be protected from eviction by the Tenant Safe Harbor Act.
A law called the Tenant Safe Harbor Act says that tenants should not be evicted if the tenant or someone who lives with the tenant was financially impacted by COVID.
To prevent your eviction under this law, you must tell the court that you suffered from financial hardship because of COVID.
- These protections only apply to rent not paid between March 7, 2020 and June 24, 2021.
- In deciding whether this law protects the tenant, the court will look at several things, including the tenant’s income prior to the covered period; the tenant’s current income; the tenant’s assets, and the tenant’s eligibility for and receipt of benefits like Public Assistance, TANF, SNAP, SSI, SSD, unemployment.
- Even If a tenant has a defense under the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, the landlord might get a money judgment against the tenant and garnish wages.
- You should bring to court documents (paystubs, unemployment benefit statements, bank account statements, etc.) that show you had a financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Your eviction could be delayed if you or your landlord applied for rental assistance.
- If you have applied for Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) assistance or any other federal emergency assistance funds, your eviction may be delayed until a final decision is made about your application.
- If you applied for ERAP, your application was denied and you appealed that decision, your eviction may be delayed until a decision is made on your appeal.
Your landlord cannot threaten or harass you to make you move out of your apartment.
- It is illegal for landlords to try to harass tenants so that the tenants will move out. For example, your landlord cannot call you at all hours to demand the rent or threaten to harm you if you do not pay rent.
- If your landlord is threatening you or harassing you, or if your landlord threatens to hurt you or your family, you may be able to get an order of protection. You need to contact the police and file charges against your landlord to try to get an order of protection against your landlord.
- It is a Class A Misdemeanor for your landlord to threaten you, change your locks, or try to force you from your apartment without a court order.
- If a landlord locks you out or tries to put you out or evict you illegally, call 911 and show the police officer your identification, your lease if you have one, a utility bill, or some other document with your name and address to show that you live in the apartment.
You may have other defenses to your eviction case.
- If the eviction was for non-payment, and you pay the full amount of rent due before you are put out, your eviction should be stopped.
- Call Neighborhood Legal Services at (716) 847-0650 to see if we can help.
This information is current as of January 23, 2022. New information continues to come in about how the eviction process is unfolding in New York State and in Buffalo. The guidance in this document is based on information from the US Centers on Disease Control and Prevention, NYS Attorney General, the Governor’s Office, and the NYS Office of Court Administration. For more information, go to https://ag.ny.gov/coronavirus#tenantrights.
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