Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced the state's Tenant Safe Harbor Act will be expanded until Jan. 1, 2021, to protect additional residential tenants from eviction if they are suffering financial hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The executive order extends the protections of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act to eviction warrants that existed prior to the start of the pandemic.
"As New York continues to fight the pandemic, we want to make sure New Yorkers who are still struggling financially will not be forced from their homes as a result of COVID," Cuomo said. "We are extending the protections of the Safe Harbor Act through Jan. 1 because we want tenants to have fundamental stability in their lives as we recover from this crisis."
Cuomo first announced a state moratorium on residential and commercial evictions on March 20 to ensure no tenant was evicted during the height of the public health emergency. The governor signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act on June 30, which became effective immediately as well as additional legislation providing financial assistance to residential renters and landlords. Additionally, previous executive orders have prohibited charges or fees for late rent payments, and tenants facing financial hardship can still use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time.
Earlier this month, the state's moratorium on COVID-19-related commercial evictions and foreclosures was extended by Cuomo by executive order, until Oct. 20. This measure extends protections already in place for commercial tenants and mortgagors in recognition of the financial toll the pandemic has taken on business owners, including retail establishments and restaurants. The extension of this protection gives commercial tenants and mortgagors additional time to get back on their feet and catch up on rent or their mortgage, or to renegotiate their lease terms to avoid foreclosure moving forward.