New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently enacted Senate Bill 50001 (SB 50001 or the Bill), which, effective September 2, 2021, among other things, further extends the state’s moratorium on COVID-related residential and commercial evictions and foreclosures until January 15, 2022.
Some of the key changes made by SB 50001 include, in part, the following:
- Until January 15, 2022, the Bill allows residential tenants and homeowners facing hardship due to COVID-19 to avoid eviction and foreclosure proceedings by submitting a hardship declaration form. However, SB 50001 still allows landlords to evict a tenant who intentionally causes significant property damage, fails to submit the hardship declaration form, or poses a substantial health and safety risk to other tenants.
- Places a moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosure proceedings for small businesses with 100 or fewer employees that demonstrate a financial hardship until January 15, 2022. The Bill also allows landlords who own 10 or fewer dwellings to avoid foreclosures by filing a hardship declaration form with their mortgage lender, other foreclosing party, or a court.
- Extends the ability for any state or local public body to hold virtual public meetings until January 15, 2022.
- Expands the eviction protections in the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and allocates additional funds to the program. Additionally, applicants for ERAP are automatically protected from eviction while their application is pending and will receive a year of eviction protections if they qualify for assistance.
SB 50001 also acknowledged the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling which struck down New York’s self-certification financial hardship process for tenants. The Supreme Court held that a tenant’s ability to self-declare financial hardship under New York law while denying the ability of a landlord to contest such declaration was a violation of the landlord’s constitutional right to due process. As a result of the holding, the Bill revises the prior law by providing a due process mechanism that landlords and mortgage lenders may use to challenge a tenant’s or homeowner’s hardship submission.