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Your Rights as a Tenant During COVID-19— Protections Against Eviction

There is an important upcoming deadline relevant to tenants’ rights that you should know about. New York tenants experiencing financial hardship have until February 26th, 2021 to fill out a Hardship Declaration and submit it to their landlord or the Housing Court. Doing so will only take tenants only a few minutes, but will provide added protection for tenants against evictions until May 2021.

On February 16th, 2021, NYLAG held a live Q&A that explained the importance of and the process to submit hardship declaration applications and answered common questions on issues tenants are facing during the pandemic. Watch the pre-recorded video and/or read the answers to the frequently asked questions from the Q&A session below. 

Preguntas frecuentes (FAQ):

With the passage of the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Protection Act (“EEFPA”), Governor Cuomo’s executive order eviction moratorium is no longer in effect. Instead, on December 28, 2020, the legislature passed EEFPA, which Cuomo signed immediately. This law puts into effect a stay on almost all eviction cases until February 26, 2021. If tenants provide the court or their landlord with a Hardship Declaration, the stay will be extended from February 26, 2021 to May 1, 2021.

Yes. EEFPA is clear that the moratorium would be extended by changes in federal law and the state legislature could also vote to extend the stay in EEFPA on its own. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently extended the eviction moratorium nationwide until March 31, 2021. However, it’s not entirely clear at this time that the federal eviction moratorium will be extended to September 2021. Because the NYS eviction moratorium is now more protective than the federal one, the federal moratorium does not apply.

At the very beginning of the Biden administration, there was talk about the federal eviction moratorium being extended by Congress legislatively until September 2021 as part of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. Lately, it seems like the relief package will only be able to pass Congress through a complicated legislative budgetary procedure called reconciliation. Because the eviction moratorium likely wouldn’t be considered budgetary in nature, it’s unlikely that the extension of the eviction moratorium on the federal level could become law through reconciliation. Consequently, under current Senate rules, which include the filibuster, it would likely require 60 votes in the Senate for an extension of the eviction moratorium to become law nationally.

It’s possible the CDC could extend its eviction moratorium beyond March 31, 2021 and it’s also possible that federal Senate Democrats may reform the filibuster to allow them to pass federal laws more easily. It’s also possible the New York legislature may extend the EEFPA eviction moratorium protection to last longer, but everything related to the New York eviction moratorium after May 1, 2021 remains quite uncertain at this time.

For the vast majority of New York tenants facing hardship since March 7, 2020, there are very few, if any, negative consequences to submitting a hardship declaration. Generally speaking, if someone might be eligible to sign a Hardship Declaration, but has sufficient money to resolve a case with their landlord at this time, it’s probably better to do so than to seek a delay, but those in this situation can still submit a Hardship Declaration as insurance of extra protections and still proceed to resolve issues with their landlord on a parallel track.

The main negative consequence would be for the very narrow subset of tenants who are eligible for the special subsidy called the Family Homelessness Eviction Protection Supplement (FHEPS). Generally speaking, a household is only eligible for FHEPS if they are currently receiving Public Assistance benefits, have minor children in the household, have an active eviction case in court, have rent arrears less than $9,000, and rent an apartment that falls within the FHEPS rental limit guidelines. For tenants who are eligible for FHEPS, it is likely not advisable to do anything to stop your landlord from filing a Housing Court case if they haven’t already. We also don’t advise you to do anything to delay your Housing Court case because you want to do everything in your power to keep your rental arrears as low as possible—delaying your case will lead to your rent arrears increasing. Once a family begins receiving FHEPS, FHEPS will cover the rent arrears and most of the family’s ongoing rent.

There may be other specific issues related to individual tenants. If you have any doubts about whether you should complete a Hardship Declaration, you should try and speak to a lawyer as soon as you can so you can get advice specific to your situation. You can call our hotline a 929-356-9582 7 am-1 pm, Monday-Friday. 

It’s important to note that tenants should only complete the Hardship Declaration if they can do so truthfully.

Yes. EEFPA does have an exception, which allows for eviction cases to proceed only in cases where a tenant is “engaging in behavior that substantially infringes the use and enjoyment of other tenants or occupants or causes a substantial safety hazard to others.” The court system and landlords’ attorneys have been referring to these as “nuisance cases,” but that’s not completely accurate under the language of EEFPA. In fact, the Housing Court in New York City has created a special Nuisance Part to handle these cases that may be exempt from the stay required by EEFPA. Any tenant who has a case in the Nuisance Part should definitely appear at the scheduled virtual appearance. At the virtual appearance, tenants will have the opportunity to retain a lawyer to represent them for free through NYC’s Right to Counsel law. Tenants should always be represented in eviction cases, especially cases where a landlord alleges nuisance behavior.  

Primero, recuerde que un arrendador no puede desalojarlo sin primero llevarlo a la corte. Eso significa que antes de que pueda perder su hogar, el propietario debe seguir los siguientes pasos:

  • Su arrendador debe enviarle una demanda de alquiler formal para el pago de cualquier alquiler adeudado. Los propietarios deben darle al menos 14 días para pagar la supuesta deuda antes de que puedan proceder a llevarlo a los tribunales.
  • Si no ha pagado el alquiler atrasado antes de la fecha de la demanda de alquiler, el propietario puede iniciar un caso de falta de pago en su contra en el Tribunal de Vivienda.
  • Courts are now generally closed to new filings because of EEFPA until February 26, 2021 and you can keep courts closed to your case by sending a Hardship Declaration to the court or your landlord, or both. If you are served with a non-payment case at any time, you should always try to answer, which you can do by phone. You can read more about how to answer on the court’s website aquí.
  • No debe salir de su casa solo porque el propietario lo está amenazando o le está enviando avisos diciendo que lo va a desalojar. Legalmente solamente el mariscal puede desalojarlo.

Si no tiene el dinero para pagar el alquiler, hay ofertas de One Shot, subsidios de alquiler y organizaciones benéficas que pueden ayudarlo. Hacer clic aquí aprender más.

En junio, la legislatura aprobó y el gobernador Cuomo firmó la Ley de puerto seguro para inquilinos, que esuna ley que impide que los inquilinos que experimentaron dificultades financieras durante el período de COVID-19 sean desalojados por falta de pago del alquiler vencido durante el período comprendido entre el 7 de marzo de 2020, hasta que finalice el estado de emergencia. Sin embargo, los propietarios todavía pueden obtener juicios monetarios contra sus inquilinos por cualquier alquiler impago de ese período de tiempo.Ha habido un puñado de decisiones del Tribunal de Vivienda que abordan el nuevo estatuto, pero la ley aún se está desarrollando. Tampoco sabemos cuándo terminará el período COVID-19. Los diferentes jueces tendrán diferentes conocimientos de lo que los inquilinos deben establecer para demostrar que han experimentado dificultades financieras durante el período de COVID-19, por lo que lo alentamos a guardar cualquier documento que pueda tener que demuestre que experimentó dificultades financieras durante el Periodo COVID-19.

Cabe mencionar que los juicios monetarios en el estado de Nueva York no son un "pan comido". Una vez que el propietario tiene un fallo monetario, el propietario puede hacer cumplir ese fallo monetario embargando los salarios y restringiendo las cuentas bancarias si la cantidad en la cuenta excede $2,850 o $3,600 dependiendo de su situación específica. Hay más información disponible sobre las protecciones de cuentas bancarias en Nueva York.aquí. Los juicios monetarios siguen siendo cobrables durante 20 años y pueden aumentar porque hay una tasa de interés de juicio 9% en Nueva York.

Es posible que haya recibido o pronto reciba una moción del abogado del propietario para restablecer el caso en el calendario para que el propietario pueda desalojarlo.

Si recibe una moción de este tipo, debe comunicarse con nuestra línea directa para ver si podemos representarlo. Hacer clic aquí para discutir tu situación específica.

Just because you received this motion doesn’t mean you’re being evicted immediately and there’s a good chance that you might be able to delay your case by filing a Hardship Declaration. You also have a right to oppose the motion. And, remember that before you can be evicted, your need to be served with a marshal’s notice of eviction, and the marshal has to come to your home to evict you. That’s why it’s important for you to reach out to a lawyer if you receive one of these motions because there may be things a lawyer can do to delay and maybe even prevent the eviction. Everyone’s case is different, so it’s definitely a good idea to speak to a lawyer about your specific situation and what legal options may be available to you.

Una huelga de alquiler puede ser una excelente manera para que usted y sus vecinos se unan si ya no puede pagar el alquiler. Si no puede pagar el alquiler como individuo y muchos otros en su edificio están en el mismo barco, organizar una huelga de alquiler puede darle influencia contra su arrendador.

Pero las huelgas de alquiler pueden ser riesgosas, especialmente para los inquilinos indocumentados. Antes de hacer huelga, debe hablar con un organizador de inquilinos experimentado. The Right to Counsel Coalition tiene recursos para personas que están considerando huelgas de alquiler. Puedes encontrarlos en righttocounselnyc.orgo Google "Rent Strike Toolkit", o vaya a bit.ly/RentStrikeNYo envía un mensaje de texto (no llames) con las palabras "Rent Strike" o "Huelga De Renta" para 646-542-1920.

Because of EEFPA, Housing Court is now generally closed to almost everything against tenants until February 26, 2021 to give tenants a chance to file Hardship Declarations, which can keep Housing Court closed to those cases until May 1, 2021. Even with EEFPA, Housing Court is still open to a small number of cases in the “Nuisance” Part.

Starting March 1, 2021, it’s likely that Housing Court will begin scheduling cases for virtual appearances for those tenants with existing cases where the tenant has not filed a Hardship Declaration. Those cases will likely be able to move forward. However, if the tenant appears, is eligible to sign a Hardship Declaration, and files a Hardship Declaration, that will put the case on hold until May 1, 2021. Almost everything is still proceeding at a slower pace than before COVID-19. If you already have an attorney in your Housing Court case, we encourage you to reach out to them for more details. If you do not have an attorney and you have an ongoing court case, you will receive a postcard in the mail from the court with your next court date, but it’s hard to say when that might happen. It’s also hard to say what will happen with New York’s eviction moratorium after May 1, 2021.

Remember: You can only be evicted from your home if your landlord starts a case in Housing Court, obtains a judgment of eviction against you, you are served with a marshal’s notice, and the marshal comes to your home to evict you.

En términos generales, según la ley de Nueva York, sólo los inquilinos con renta estabilizada tienen derecho a renovar el contrato de arrendamiento. Incluso si no tiene un contrato de arrendamiento con renta estabilizada, es posible que sea un inquilino con renta estabilizada si vive en un edificio construido antes de 1974 que tiene seis o más unidades, incluso si algunas de esas unidades no Ser unidades legales. Si no es un inquilino con renta estabilizada, es poco probable que tenga derecho a renovar el contrato de arrendamiento y, al final de su contrato de arrendamiento, su arrendador podría optar por no renovarlo y luego iniciar una acción de remanente en su contra en el Tribunal de Vivienda. después de avisarle debidamente. La cantidad de notificación a la que tiene derecho legalmente es de al menos 30 días si ha vivido allí menos de un año, al menos 60 días durante entre un año y menos de dos años, y al menos 90 días si vivió allí durante dos años o más. Estos diferentes períodos de notificación solo se convirtieron en ley en junio de 2019 y los propietarios a menudo los echan a perder, lo que puede darle ciertas defensas en un procedimiento de retención si el propietario no le entrega la notificación adecuada antes de comenzar su caso de retención en su contra.

Si ha sido desalojado después del 16 de marzo de 2020 y no recibió una notificación de los alguaciles antes de su desalojo, es probable que su desalojo fuera ilegal y pueda iniciar un caso de bloqueo ilegal en el Tribunal de Vivienda en el municipio donde vivía. volver a su casa (recuperar la posesión).

Si cree que ha sido bloqueado ilegalmente, puede llamarnos. Te damos el número al final. O puede ir al Tribunal de Vivienda en el municipio en el que vivía para presentar un procedimiento de bloqueo ilegal por su cuenta.

Si. Si tiene reparaciones que son necesarias para su apartamento y su arrendador se niega a abordarlas a pesar de sus reiteradas solicitudes, puede presentar una Acción de HP contra su arrendador en el Tribunal de Vivienda para que el arrendador haga las reparaciones. Puede hacerlo en persona en el Tribunal de Vivienda en el municipio en el que vive o usar JustFix, una solicitud en línea, que está disponible aquí.

También puede usar JustFix para iniciar un caso de HP Action si su arrendador lo acosa.

Sí, NYLAG estará encantado de saber más para ver si podemos ayudarlo. Llame a nuestra línea directa gratuita de recursos legales de NY COVID-19 al 929-356-9582 y nos pondremos en contacto contigo. Obtenga más información en nylag.org/hotline.

To receive the latest resources and to stay updated on NYLAG’s tenants’ rights advocacy (and other social issues), subscribe to our newsletter aquí

Para obtener información sobre los derechos de los inquilinos y los últimos recursos para COVID-19, haga clic en aquí

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