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Cuomo seeks to expand protections for renters, commercial tenants in upcoming budget

Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed additional protections to renters and commercial tenants as part of the 2021 State of the State agenda.

The Governor will propose legislation codifying and extending the moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions. Governor 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,” Governor 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.”

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Here are the major components:

Commercial Eviction Moratorium 

The Governor will advance legislation to codify an existing Executive Order to extend a statewide moratorium on commercial evictions until May 1, 2021 for tenants who have endured COVID-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.

Governor Cuomo has issued several executive orders and signed legislation to protect both residential and commercial tenants throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. On December 28, Governor Cuomo 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 December 11, Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order extending the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures through January 31.