By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – Heave a sigh of relief. Governor Andrew Cuomo recently ordered for the non-eviction of tenants who cannot pay rent as New York wrestles against the coronovirus pandemic. “You cannot be evicted for non-payment of rent, residential or commercial, in the next three months,” he said during his morning press conference today, March 31, 2020.
New York is the epicenter of the US battling against the spread of COVID19 in horrific levels, citing infected cases at 75,795, death records at 1550, and discharged cases are 4975, as of press time (Data from the office of the NY Governor).
“We don’t know when it’s going to end. But for now, three months. For that reason, my daughters have stopped paying me rent,” he told reporters.
Cuomo’s directive had been widely applauded and anticipated by New Yorkers. Augelyn Francisco, owner-manager of a coffee shop Kabisera Kape on Allen Street had earlier asked city officials to declare a moratorium for rent and other utilities as restaurants and bars were ordered closed (retaining only to-go and delivery services) early March.
According to the NY Real Property Acts, a tenant in New York can be evicted for not paying rent or for violating the lease or rental agreement. A tenant has a set of defense available to challenge an eviction.
In the midst of the economic hardship brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, Cuomo’s recent directive pushes back for three months (until June 2020) the stipulation under N.Y. Real Prop. Acts § 711(2)) wherein a landlord can evict a non-paying renter. It states: “Before a landlord can evict a tenant for failing to pay rent, the landlord must give the tenant a fourteen-day notice, or demand for rent. The notice must state that the tenant has 14 days to pay rent or move out of the rental unit. If the tenant does not pay the rent or move out of the rental unit within the 14 days, the landlord can begin eviction proceedings against the tenant.”