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Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he was extending the eviction moratorium for residential tenants through and including January 1, 2021. This is the second time in a month, that the state has extended the protections afforded to tenants adversely affected by the pandemic. As we reported earlier, Governor Cuomo continued the halt on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures by another thirty-days (i.e., through October 20, 2020).

In this latest move, the Governor has expanded the protections of the Safe Harbor Act through January 1, 2021, noting, “we want tenants to have fundamental stability in their lives as we recover from this crisis.” (The Tenant Safe Harbor Act shields residents who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID from eviction for nonpayment of rent.)

Notably, both, the residential and commercial moratoriums, only forbid evictions. And, while they do not prevent landlords from commencing court proceedings, a memorandum issued by New York’s Chief Administrative Judge clarifies that all new eviction proceedings—whether residential or commercial, for non-payment or holdover—will remain suspended until further notice.

As for the implications of the federal eviction ban on the January 1 extension, per the CDC order, directives issued by local and state governments, such as Governor Cuomo’s moratorium, will supersede available federal protections.

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DISCLAIMER: As COVID-19 related developments change daily, this must be viewed as an exceptionally fluid situation. Accordingly, prior to taking any action, we strongly urge you to contact our office to ascertain whether there has been any change that would impact any recommendations made, or whether there are discrete facts or developments which would warrant undertaking a different tact or course.