Last Thursday, a decision by the Supreme Court saw a majority ban part of a New York State eviction moratorium established in response to the coronavirus health crisis. The decision was welcome news for landlords throughout the state who are experiencing their own financial struggles after being denied rent for more than a year.
The ruling applies only to tenants who file forms that cite pandemic-related economic setbacks, as opposed to presenting their evidence in court. The majority wrote that the process represented more resembles a “scheme” in violation of the tenant that “no man can be a judge in his own case.”
Billions at stake for struggling property owners
Currently, 830,000 rental properties in New York State, with a vast majority in New York City, housing occupants delinquent on their rent payments. The National Equity Atlas, a University of Southern California research group, estimates the financial loss for landlords at $3.2 billion.
While eviction processes will likely commence immediately, if they haven’t already started, some federal and state obstacles remain in the path of property owners, including one enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention covering all tenants throughout New York. That moratorium may also be added to the high court’s docket.
The ruling comes during a time when a complicated state bureaucracy struggles to pay out federal pandemic relief in a bill passed by Congress and signed by the President. A total of $2.7 billion is in place to help landlords and their tenants. To date, approximately $100 million has been allocated. Both sides have options to recoup their losses, yet the money is bafflingly slow to come.
The confluence of all these moving parts has created confusion and chaos. Longtime investments made by landlords are at risk. Billions in financial resources combined with a high court ruling should represent a long-awaited solution amidst multiple problems created by a pandemic.