New York Landlord Legal Survival During the Covid-19 CrisisNew York residential and commercial landlords: Robert Friedman with over 41 years of experience successfully representing landlords and real estate investors, can advise and show you how to:
- Meet your expenses during the Covid-19 Crisis,
- Preserve the value of your properties during the Covid-19 Crisis,
- Protect and preserve your rights to evict tenants and not violate your tenant’s rights during the Covid-19 crisis,
- Effectively negotiate with your tenants,
- Be compassionate and reasonable, yet firm, in the eyes of the courts, the public, and your tenants,
- Use Self-help ( when it is permissible and when it can land you in jail),
- Draft repayment or lease modification agreements,
- Use security deposits for rent payments,
- Be ready to evict your tenants when the courts reopen,
- Collect now from guarantors and letters of credit,
- Respond to commercial tenants who won’t pay rents based on:
- Avoid Discrimination Lawsuits by Tenants
- Are New York Rent Strikes Legal?
- What Is a New York Rent Strike?
- Why Have NY Landlords Been Losing Power?
- What Relief Are Landlords Asking from Congress?
- NY Covid-19 Eviction Procedures
- How NY Landlords Can Apply for Rental Assistance
- COVID-19 NY Eviction Moratorium Extended Again
- NY Commercial Eviction Moratorium Extended Again
- NY Residential Eviction & Foreclosure Moratorium Extended To May 1, 2021
- Federal Judge Denies Landlords’ Motion to Block Revised NY Eviction Moratorium
- Stand-Up Buffalo Rental Assistance System Re-Launched To Provide Relief While NY Awaits Additional Federal Aid
- Town & Village Court Evictions in Erie County Hub Court
- New Rules on NY Rent Collection
Legal Help for NY Landlords and Tenants During the COVID-19 CrisisAs the COVID-19 crisis continues, landlords and tenants alike are facing tremendous uncertainty with regards to their respective rights and the legal remedies available to enforce them. With a temporary moratorium on evictions until at least October 1, 2020 New York tenants are now especially vulnerable to landlords who take the law in their own hands with self-help evictions and illegal lockouts. Nonetheless, there are certain initiatives, available in specific situations, that landlords and tenants can take to protect themselves until the courts fully reopen. October 1, 2020, there is nothing preventing landlords from getting the process started by serving notices to quit/rent demands on tenants. Under the recent New York Tenant Protection Act of 2019 , for non-payment of rent, notice sent by certified mail, after residential rent is past due 5 days, and a 14-day notice to quit are required. This means that tenants, if they wish to avoid being evicted when the moratorium is lifted, should still be paying their rent. The proposed bills to cancel rent payments for residential tenants and small business are currently only propositions. Additionally, there is a moratorium on nonpayment evictions of residential or commercial tenants who are eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law or otherwise facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic for a period of sixty days beginning on June 20, 2020. Late rent fees may not be charged from March 20, 2020, through August 20, 2020. Additionally, see NY Tenants Experiencing COVID-19 Financial Hardship Can’t be Evicted Under The Tenant Safe Harbor Act
ESSENTIAL NY LANDLORD/TENANT MATTERSLandlords should be aware that tenants may also turn to the courts for violations of their rights during the COVID-19 crisis. Serious housing code violations are considered “essential matters” by the New York courts, and tenants who find themselves in situations involving leaking roofs, vermin infestations, of the shutting off of heat, hot water, or electricity can report such violations and seek a court-ordered repair order.
BREACH OF THE NY WARRANTY OF HABITABILITYDuring this trying time, landlords should take tenant complaints seriously and do their best to address issues of habitability while also maintaining social distance and taking all other necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Tenants’ Rights to Livable Premises. Finally, under no circumstances should a residential landlord attempt to lock a tenant out of the premises. Cases if illegal lockouts will continue to be heard during the COVID-19 crisis, and landlords who resort to this form of extreme self-help may face both civil and criminal liability.
NY COMMERCIAL LANDLORDSMeanwhile, commercial landlords and tenants are burdened by unique set of issues caused by the recent executive orders shutting down most businesses. Depending on the terms of the commercial lease, the significance of the shut down on the tenant’s bottom-line, and what the New York State government’s response will be in the days and weeks to come, some businesses may be able to defer or avoid rent payments for a time. New York commercial landlords are suing tenants for rent in U.S. District Courts which are still open. Cases that are entirely based on state law may be brought in federal court under the court’s diversity jurisdiction which permits a plaintiff of one state to file a lawsuit in federal court when the defendant is located in another state. The defendant can also seek to “remove” from state court for the same reason. To bring a state law claim in federal court, all of the plaintiffs must be located in different states than all of the defendants and the amount in controversy must be more than $75,000.
- When and how the tenant notified you of their inability to pay rent;
- The reason for the rent delay;
- What past due rent notices have been served or sent to the tenant;
- Documentation provided by the tenant of inability to pay rent;
- Any expected SBA loans or government assistance;
- Itemization of all amounts owed to the landlord;
- Amount of rent being deferred;
- The repayment plan;
- Any promissory notes to be signed by the tenant or guarantors for the rent owed; and
- Any other lease modifications.