Eviction Prevention

Coronavirus/COVID-19 updates

 

Federal moratorium

A federal eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) took effect on September 4. To be protected, qualified renters facing eviction should immediately provide a signed declaration to their landlords. For more details about the moratorium and a sample declaration that renters can use, go to: National Eviction Moratorium: FAQ for Renters. Please note: When the moratorium expires on December 31, 2020, back rent will be due. In addition, this order does not prevent landlords from charging or collecting rent. Evictions for reasons other than nonpayment of rent can proceed: those for leases that have simply run out, for example, or for tenants who have allegedly violated their lease.

This moratorium extends the New York State-court moratorium past its expected expiration on October 1. Through October 1, the NYS eviction moratorium guidelines are also in effect. See below.

New York State moratorium

Due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 there is an eviction moratorium. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about New York state’s moratorium.

Eviction Moratorium: While all rents are still legally owed, you cannot be evicted in New York State for any reason, at least until October 1, 2020. This also applies to eviction orders that were issued but not carried out prior to the eviction moratorium commencement on March 16, 2020. DO NOT ATTEND HOUSING COURT FOR AN EVICTION CASE. YOU WILL NOT BE PENALIZED FOR FAILING TO APPEAR!

New York City policy

City Marshals: NY’s Chief Administrative Judge’s Memo suspended eviction proceedings, and Mayor de Blasio has reinforced the moratorium decision with a 90-day halt of related City Marshal activities. (Source)

Lease Expirations: If your lease is expiring on April 1st or anytime during the COVID-19 pandemic and you want to renew, you should try to work with your landlord to extend the current lease or proceed with a month-to-month extension. The resulting correspondence and agreement should be done over e-mail so that there is a paper record of the precise terms agreed upon.

Rent Increases: As usual, your rent in a market rate apartment cannot be increased until your current lease expires. All rules regarding notice about rent increases also apply. Landlords are still required to provide a minimum of 30-days notice of rent increases above 5 percent for tenancies of less than a year, and up to 90 days for longer tenancies of two years or more.

Additional Resources

The NYC Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants has an online resource portal that offers resources and can help you to determine what your next steps should be. Click here to go to the online portal

If a City Marshal tries to evict you: Call NYC Department of Investigation (DOI) Bureau of City Marshals at (212) 825-5953.

For information regarding emergency repair or other housing related legal actions: Visit www.nycourts.gov or call (833) 503-0447 (toll-free).

Housing Court Questions: Housing Court Answers, call 212-962-4795 or 718-557-1379.

Fill out this form to report discrimination.

For general questions regarding housing rights and protections: Call the Legal Aid Society at (212) 577-3300.


Eviction prevention

Facing eviction can be scary. Tenants should be aware that they do not need to vacate their apartments just because the landlord asks them to or because they receive notice of a court date .Tenants have a right to go to Housing Court to respond to the landlord’s eviction case and may have defenses available to them that will allow them to remain in their homes. Whenever possible, tenants should consult with an attorney if they have received an eviction notice.

Homebase, operated by NYC Human Resources Adminstration, helps individuals facing eviction and/or homelessness to apply for short-term emergency funding, assistance obtaining benefits, financial counseling, landlord and family mediation, employment services/referrals, and linkages to community resources. Services are provided by community organizations located throughout the five boroughs. Visit Homebase to find a Homebase location near you and information in several languages.

Free legal services funded by New York City’s Office of Civil Justice are available as follows:

Anti-Eviction Legal Services are offered in the housing courts and in community offices across the City. They are free, comprehensive, flexible, and individualized to help low-income households avoid eviction and homelessness.

Services may include:

  • Representation in housing court
  • Negotiations with landlords and/or other advocacy assistance
  • Inquiries into whether a tenant’s rent level is correct, whether there are conditions that require repair and whether these constitute defenses to a proceeding
  • Preparation and filing of required agency and court papers

These services are free and you do not have to be an HRA client to apply. If you need legal help with an eviction, please find the Anti-Eviction Legal Services location nearest you here, or by dialing 311 or by emailing civiljustice@hra.nyc.gov.

Right to Counsel provides free legal representation for tenants who are sued for eviction in housing court and in NYCHA termination of tenancy hearings. Eligibility for an attorney to represent you free of charge is based on where you live in New York City, income and household size, and your eviction notice. Click here to determine if you are eligible and for more information.

Free Legal Representation for Tenants Facing Landlord Harassment

The New York City Tenant Support Unit provides assistance to New Yorkers who may be experiencing landlord harassment, are at risk of displacement, or need to make home-related repairs. Tenant Support specialists assist tenants with accessing important City resources, such as free legal assistance. Click here for a list of neighborhoods where services are offered. 

If you live in one of the zip codes listed above and are experiencing housing-related issues, such as harassment, overcharges, or possible eviction, you can call 929-252-7104 Monday through Friday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm to speak with a Tenant Support Specialist. If you do not live in one of the designated neighborhoods and are experiencing any issues that threaten your housing situation, please call 311. If you have additional questions about available legal assistance, go to HRA’s legal assistance website.

Free Legal Representation for Immigration Legal Issues

A variety of free legal services programs for low-income immigrant New Yorkers in need of legal advice or representation in immigration matters are available. If you need legal help with an immigration issue, please visit the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs website, dial 311 or email civiljustice@hra.nyc.gov.

Housing Court

To learn more about the Housing Court process visit Housing Court Answers or LawHelp.org’s portal which assists tenants with navigating the housing court process including sample forms and guides on how tenants can prepare to answer housing court cases.

Rental Arrears

Households with rental arrears or facing eviction may be eligible for additional rent subsidies and/or for money from certain grant sources. In order to receive help paying for rental arrears, the tenant facing eviction will need to establish that he or she is able to pay rent and maintain the apartment in the future. Resources for eviction prevention include:

  • “One-Shot-Deals,” which are emergency grants from Public Assistance may also be available. To apply for an emergency grant, the tenant needs to bring documentation and explanation of the arrears and will need to provide proof of the ability to pay rent for the apartment in the future. This paperwork should be brought to the tenant’s nearest job center (public assistance office). Find your nearest job center here.
  • Family Homelessness Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) may be available to those facing eviction and receiving public assistance. FHEPS applications can be filed through Legal Aid’s borough offices and specific community-based organizations in each borough.

Tenants residing in NYCHA Public Housing or Section 8 apartments cannot be evicted solely because of their status as a domestic violence victim due to protections offered under the Violence Against Women Act regardless of the gender of the victim or perpetrator.

Tenants of rent stabilized apartments who are victims of domestic violence and need to temporarily flee their apartments due to the violence cannot be evicted due to not using the apartment as their primary residence if the reason for their absence from the apartment is due to the abuse.