With COVID-19, many are worried. Worried about being able to afford their rent and more importantly, worried about the potential of being evicted. It’s only human.

Thankfully, New York City has extended the eviction ban for certain tenants. Read on if you are worried about eviction as there may be measures in place to help you out. There are things you also should know because several measures regarding evictions have changed quite a bit since May.

Initial Eviction Suspension Measures 

In March 2020, many may remember measures being taken against evictions. At this time, New York City had suspended eviction proceedings indefinitely. At the time, they didn’t know how long the COVID-19 pandemic would play out and wanted to protect both tenants and commercial tenants. While this measure made many feel protected, it didn’t last for long.

Measures Related to Evictions Have Changed

Since March, quite a bit has changed. Not only have the incidences of COVID-19 in the United States increased, but the measures related to evictions have ramped up as well.  In May 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo extended the state’s eviction moratorium through to August.

While that sounds great for many, there was a catch. The eviction moratorium would last another two months, though it would only apply to those tenants unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 or who qualify for unemployment. With these new guidelines in place, landlords could move forward with certain eviction actions. Not everyone was being protected

This causes quite a bit of confusion and worry as many feel that the new language pokes holes in the protections of the previous order – especially for those with immigration status.”  

Now, when landlords take these tenants to court, it will be their choice to share their immigration status. Doing so may impact the court’s decision to rule for or against tenants depending on their credibility around if they were impacted by COVID-19.

These changes can cause many to feel a sense of uneasiness. While everyone hopes it won’t happen to them, you should be aware of the process for eviction and how it works in case you find yourself in this situation.

Things to be Aware of if you are Evicted

Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash
  1. If There’s a A Cause: If a landlord wants to terminate early or have the tenant/s  move out, they will need to have a cause. In order for the eviction to proceed, the landlord must give the tenant written notice (in NY).

Didn’t Pay Rent? If the tenant hasn’t paid rent, the landlord has to give a 14 day notice to the tenant to move out.  If they do not, the landlord has to file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant. They can’t simply kick the tenant out.

Broke the Term of the Lease? If this occurs, the landlord must give a 10 day notice in order to correct the violation. If this isn’t corrected, the landlord gives a tenant a notice of termination. The tenant has 30 days to move out of the rental unit without having to go through the court system. If they still do not move out, eviction proceedings can begin. 

  1. Without Cause: If the landlord doesn’t have cause, they need to wait until the lease or rental period to allow the tenant to move out.
  1. With Cause, But With Defense: Sometimes a landlord finds a cause to evict a tenant that is not agreed upon. In this case, the tenant may defend themselves using procedural mistakes during the eviction.
  1. Removal of the Tenant: While forcing a tenant out of a rental unit is illegal (only a sheriff can legally remove the tenant from a rental unit), it sadly happens more often than we think.

A Reminder

We hope this gives you a bit more information to be more aware of how evictions work.  Just remember that you are legally unable to be forced out of an apartment or rental property by a landlord without the preceding procedures. You have rights; use them.  Protect yourself.

Michele Christine Weinstein is a motivational writer, content creator, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who utilizes her life story and pre-medical background to inspire others. She believes in the power of our stories and encourages all to share their stories of struggle on a platform that she founded called Not a Standard. Outside of work, Michele enjoys kayaking, walking her dog, and working out. She also enjoys a good home-decor project, although it usually results in bloopers (which she later shares on social media for good laughs and instructions!). She’s always sharing her projects, bloopers, and little motivational quotes (which she calls Michele-isms) on Instagram, so check her out. And stay tuned for what her story entails next. It may just be great.

*Contributions are solely guest opinions and don’t reflect the opinions of or are endorsed by WYL, our staff, clients or other interested parties.

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