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What happens if I don’t pay my rent because of the recent economic downturn?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2020 | Eviction Prevention |

In the last several weeks, millions of Americans have lost their jobs because of businesses shutting down to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Of course, New York has become the epicenter of the epidemic – in the number of cases, those who have lost their lives and those who are no longer employed because of business closings.

Some of those businesses may never reopen. So, if you find yourself unemployed right now, it might take a while for you to find a new position. What if you can’t pay your rent in the meantime? How long will you have before you face eviction?

Eviction moratorium expands

On May 7, 2020, all residential and commercial evictions were suspended up to August 20, 2020.  Evictions that were already scheduled had been suspended as well by the court. State lawmakers now are working to extend the eviction moratorium for six months. Some have proposed a rent and utility payment freeze until the pandemic has abated. The New York City Council is considering a bill that would extend evictions for non-payment of rent until April 2021.

As part of the State’s six-month eviction moratorium plan, landlords couldn’t pursue unpaid rent through housing court, but could seek it in civil court. You might end up losing your case and must pay a rent settlement, but you still won’t face eviction.

Establishing a payment plan

If you know that you will struggle to pay rent for the next several months, you might want to reach out to your landlord. You could try to negotiate a payment plan so that when you do become employed again, you aren’t so behind on rent payments.

It’s no question that the coming months will be difficult for many New York renters. Knowing your tenant rights to avoid eviction is important. You can always consult an experienced tenant rights attorney if you have questions about how current laws might apply to you.



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