Gov. Cuomo extends tenants’ time to answer in summary non-payment proceedings by 60 days

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2020 | Landlord/tenant, Nonpayment proceedings

The impact of COVID-19 on property owners in New York City has been profound and, in some cases, financially devastating. The size and resources of the property owner have defined the scope of challenges caused by the delay in processing of summary eviction proceedings over the summer.

COVID-19 state of emergency has heavily impacted owners of residential property

Owners of apartment buildings who were waiting for Nov. 4 to arrive so that they could pursue default judgments in summary evictions against tenants who had been given reprieve until that date will have to wait longer, it seems.

Gov. Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.72 on Nov. 3 in which he extended his declaration of a disaster emergency through Jan. 3 and addressed a number of related issues, including this one. He extended the time to answer for 60 days for the thousands of New York City tenants with pending summary proceedings on Nov. 3.

Property owners face another delay in pursuing defaults

This means that residential property owners will likely need to wait 60 more days to pursue judgments against tenants who are not responding to petitions, continuing to absorb the costs of delinquent rental payments. Meanwhile, they must continue to pay taxes, mortgage and other loan payments, insurance, operating expenses, repairs and related costs.

However, any new petition filed after Nov. 3 will not be subject to the 60-day extension to file a response, so that the normal 10-day deadline applies. This means that property owners can file new petitions that may proceed through the system despite the large backlog of those on hold through the executive action. Either the tenants will respond within the 10 days or owners could begin pursuit of default judgments under certain circumstances.

More to come

We are waiting for clarification on what will happen after Jan. 3, 2021.

On Dec. 14, 2020, Gov. Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.81 extending the prohibition on initiating or enforcing commercial eviction proceedings through Jan. 31, 2021.

On December 28, 2020 Governor Cuomo signed the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 (S.9114/A.11181) in law. The Act places a moratorium on residential evictions until May 1, 2021 for tenants who claim they have a have a COVID-19 “hardship”. We will provide a more detailed analysis of the law next week at the firm webinar.