Do I have to pay rent during the Moratorium in NYC?

Countless New Yorkers have already lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak, and more than half of them rent their homes in the city. It’s going to be hard to make rent in the months ahead for many of our neighbors. Fortunately, among the sweeping changes that Governor Cuomo recently announced with the “New York state on PAUSE” order is the temporary moratorium on all residential and commercial evictions in New York City. If you rent a residence or a business, you cannot be evicted until August 2020. If you were already facing eviction, this moratorium would delay those proceedings as well. The governor’s order will help until August, but renters will need to repay their missed rent when the moratorium is lifted.

The moratorium on evictions will not wipe out your rent payments. You still owe the back payments, but you are guaranteed a roof over your head for the time being. If possible, the best thing is to pay your rent or work out an arrangement with your landlord that might include paying a lower rate temporarily or devising a payment plan for when things start to pick up again. Considering the humanitarian crisis unfolding in New York, landlords might be more reasonable than you think. They might even be receiving some pandemic assistance themselves. It’s worth a try, but easier said than done. Working a deal with some landlords in NYC is just going to happen easily. That is why the NY state government had to step up in the first place.

Cuomo and the team in Albany know that in the age of the novel coronavirus, it will be tougher than ever for many New Yorkers to make ends meet and that even the most forgiving landlords want their rent. Thank goodness the law is on the side of the renters because, at a time like this, we can’t be forcing people out of their homes while insisting New York City remain on lock-down. But desperate times call for drastic measures, and we are already hearing of landlords threatening tenants or trying to intimidate tenants unfamiliar with the changes. The landlords in NYC cannot forcibly evict tenants, change locks, or tell you to leave during the governor’s order. If your landlord shows up at your place, it’s essential to know your rights and to understand that you are legally protected during the moratorium for the next few months, and possibly longer depending on the severity of the pandemic. Things are always changing right now.

You know you have some breathing room, but you are only pushing the problem down the road if you aren’t paying rent. When the moratorium is eventually lifted, things will get back to normal, and bills will come due. If you are behind on rent and other payments because of the virus, then it might be time to start looking at all debt relief options. You still have time to develop a plan, but you need to use your time wisely. The help you need is out there. Don’t let it all come crashing down in three months. With a smart plan, you might be able to avoid future eviction and even reduce some of your other debts. If you would like help understanding your debt-relief options, including the possibility of filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in NY, please contact our offices at 212-244-2882 or [email protected] to schedule a free phone or virtual consultation. We represent hard-working New Yorkers that have been affected by the COVID 19 outbreak and want to see them get the debt relief they deserve during these uncertain times in NYC.