Fact Check: Will there be an eviction crisis?
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Will there be an eviction crisis? That’s what some people have been worried about now that New York’s eviction ban is over. There have been claims that your landlord can now just kick you out of your apartment. Is that true? News10NBC’s Nikki Rudd is checking the facts.
It’s been an ongoing issue during the pandemic: Renters who can’t pay their rent and landlords facing their own financial problems.
New York’s eviction moratorium came to an end on Jan. 15, 2022. So can your landlord just throw you out? The answer is no.
In New York State, a landlord has to go to court first and obtain a judgment of possession. A sheriff, marshal or constable can carry out a court-ordered eviction. An owner cannot evict a tenant by use of force or unlawful means.
There are also other protections for tenants including the Tenant Safe Harbor Act. If you can prove a COVID-19 related financial hardship this shields you from non-payment evictions.
Keep in mind, a landlord can challenge a tenant’s COVID-19 hardship application.
"For example, a tenant who alleged financial hardship suffered during the pandemic but continued to work 40 hours per week as they had prior would most likely be able to be evicted, whereas a tenant that lost their job as a result of the pandemic would most likely be protected," explained Ryan McCall of Tully Rinckey.
McCall says there are two major types of evictions in New York State: Holdover and a Non-Payment evictions.
Here are his explanations of both:
To evict a tenant who has stayed past the expiration of their lease or a "month to month" tenant, you need to effectuate a proper notice of termination. This is dependent on how long the tenant has lived in the property, a tenant that has lived in the property for less than one year would be entitled to a 30-day notice, a tenant who has resided in a property for less than two years but at least one year is entitled to 60 days’ notice and a tenant who has resided two years or more is entitled to 90 days’ notice. Assuming the proper notice has been served correctly then a Landlord in theory should be able to successfully evict a tenant.
This is an area where tenants are most at risk if a tenant has not paid their rent, all the landlord needs to do is serve a 14-day Demand for Rent then they are free to evict the tenant. In that scenario assuming the property has no issues (pests, utilities work, landlord is not harassing you, etc.) the only real way for a tenant to get the action dismissed is to pay rent.
Tenants can still apply for eviction protection and rent relief from the state even though there’s no money to give out right now. People who apply will be protected while the state reviews the application. Gov. Kathy Hochul has also asked the U.S. Treasury for more federal funding.
So if you heard landlords can just start evicting their tenants without going to court, that is false.
If you’re getting evicted, or think you will be, you should contact an attorney.
Here are some resources available to you in the Rochester area:
General Questions and Advice
The Housing Council at PathStone
585-546-3700 (hotline open between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday through Friday)
Landlord Tenant Mediation Services
Center for Dispute Settlement
Latest Legal Updates, Advocate for Landlord Rights and Support
Under One Roof Coalition
Tenant Emergency Rent Assistance Program
Catholic Family Center
General Assistance Accessing Services
211 Life Line Call Center
Dial: 211, or 1-877-356-9211
Free Financial Counseling
Rochester Financial Empowerment Center
Access to Free Legal Representation
Right to Counsel Project
Volunteer Legal Services Project
Click here for a Tenant’s Guide from NY Courts: https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/pdfs/TenantsGuide_holdover.pdf