A Changing Landscape: Landlord/Tenant Law in the era of COVID-19

On June 14, 2019, the New York State Legislature passed the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which was thereafter signed by Governor Cuomo. The legislation and its assorted provisions will only become more important in the coming weeks and months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, various Executive Orders signed by Governor Cuomo and the related moratoriums.

The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 had a number of significant changes to New York Landlord/Tenant Law which will be amplified by the current economic and public health emergencies. In an effort to our assist our clients, we will be publishing a series of articles dealing with the intersection of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, the pandemic and its myriad effects.

First, it is important for Landlords to know the entire length of a summary proceeding for non-payment has been increased as a result of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019.
Apart from the Executive Orders issued by Governor Cuomo, in order to initiate an eviction proceeding for non-payment, the predicate notice under Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (“RPAPL”) §711 was increased from a 3-day written notice to a 14-day written notice. The practical effect of amending this provision is that instead of having the opportunity to commence a summary proceeding after 3 days from serving the written notice, a Landlord is now required to wait 14 days.

The amendment to RPAPL §711, coupled with changes to RPAPL §749 have the effect of lengthening the entire summary proceeding by at least 22 additional days. Under the former version of RPAPL §749, the officer executing a warrant for eviction had to provide at least 72 hours’ written notice before physically removing the occupants and their personal property. Now, under the amended version of RPAPL §749, the officer executing the warrant of eviction must give the tenant at least 14 days written notice. The effect of this change can have significant and disastrous effects upon a Landlord who will have a rental unit that is not producing income for an additional month.

The attorneys at Melvin & Melvin, PLLC are ready to help Landlords navigate this changing landscape.

 

 

 

Daniel M. Austin

For legal assistance contact Commercial Real Estate attorney Daniel M. Austin, Esq.