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Cuomo announces proposal to bolster protections for residential & commercial tenants as part of 2021 State of the State


Sat, Jan 9th 2021 11:25 am

Proposed legislation would extend moratorium on commercial evictions until May 1, prohibits late fees and penalties on renters

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced a proposal to bolster protections for residential and commercial tenants as part of the 2021 State of the State. He will propose legislation codifying and extending the moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions. Cuomo will also propose legislation to codify protections the state has provided tenants by executive order.

"COVID-19 has produced enormous hardship for homeowners and commercial and residential tenants as we implement restrictions necessary to protect the public health, and we owe them safety from eviction until they are able to get back on their feet," Cuomo said. "That's why we're proposing new legislation to continue to protect small businesses and commercial tenants and further extend existing relief for residents that I have provided by executive order. The pandemic shouldn't get in the way of our ability to provide space for our businesses and roofs over our heads, and this assistance will foster a faster and stronger recovery when we finish defeating COVID."

The Governor's proposal includes:

Commercial Eviction Moratorium

Cuomo will advance legislation to codify an existing executive order to extend a statewide moratorium on commercial evictions until May 1 for tenants who have endured COVID-19-related hardship. Landlords can evict tenants who are creating safety or health hazards.

Prohibition on Residential Rent Late Fees and Penalties

The governor will codify and extend existing executive orders to ban late payments or fees for missed rent payments during the pandemic. It will also allow renters facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time.

Cuomo has issued several executive orders and signed legislation to protect both residential and commercial tenants throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. On Dec. 28, he signed the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020. The act prevents residential evictions, foreclosure proceedings, credit discrimination and negative credit reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also extends the senior citizens' homeowner exemption and disabled homeowner exemption from 2020 to 2021. On Dec. 11, Cuomo signed an executive order extending the state's moratorium on COVID-19-related commercial evictions and foreclosures through Jan. 31.

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