One of Nation's Biggest Anti-Eviction Laws Just Passed

New York landlords won't be able to boot most tenants for 2 months
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2020 9:45 AM CST
New York Halts Most Evictions for 2 Months
Sonia Perez, 50, whose husband died from COVID-19 complications and who owes six months' worth of rent, sells tamales on the street in Brooklyn, NY, on Dec 12, 2020.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

With the governor's executive order barring most evictions due to expire at year's end, the New York Legislature called a special session Monday to pass "one of the most comprehensive anti-eviction laws in the nation," per the New York Times. The bill, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo immediately signed, bars landlords from evicting most tenants for 60 days, protects landlords who own 10 or fewer apartments from foreclosure, and automatically renews tax exemptions for elderly or disabled homeowners. Protections are extended until May 1 for tenants who cite financial hardship tied to the coronavirus pandemic or a significant health risk related to a move, per Fox News. Up to 1.2 million New York households are at risk of losing their homes, according to consulting firm Stout, per the Times.

In signing a $900 billion relief package on Sunday, President Trump approved $1.3 billion in rent relief for New Yorkers and stretched out a federal eviction moratorium. But state legislators took further action, as some argue the requirements for federal eviction protection are too rigid. Evictions can still proceed in cases where a judge finds tenants have repeatedly faced nuisance complaints, such as for noise. But that's not enough for some landlord groups, who argue tenants don't need to provide proof of hardship. "The cost of providing free housing cannot be fully borne by property owners," says Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program, per Politico. Meanwhile, the Housing Justice for All coalition has called on lawmakers to "clear the back rent owed by New Yorkers and create a hardship fund for small landlords." (Read more New York stories.)

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