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Cuomo Extends Eviction Ban For Another 60 Days

Gov. Andrew Cuomo at daily coronavirus update on April 13.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo doubled down on tenant protections Thursday, announcing the statewide moratorium on evictions would be extended into August.

“On a human level, I don’t want to see people and their children being evicted at this time,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing. He acknowledged the anxiety the extension may cause among the state’s property owners and said the government would also be “helping” landlords.

"The landlord will say, ‘OK, so now the tenant doesn't pay their rent, but I still have to pay the electric bill, I still have to pay the mortgage,’ that is true, that is true," Cuomo said. "And we’re working on relief from the banks for the landlords, also. And there are programs that the federal government, that the state is doing to make sure those banks also get relief so they don’t have to do any foreclosures, and we stopped the foreclosures on the landlords.”

On March 20, the governor issued a moratorium on the eviction of residential and commercial tenants facing hardship because of the coronavirus. It was due to expire in June, but the ban will now extend to Aug. 20. Cuomo also banned late payment fees, and renters who have been affected by the crisis will be allowed to use their security deposits as rent and pay the deposits back over time, he said.

"There is no doubt a trade-off between the tenant and the landlord," Cuomo said. Another 231 people died in New York state from the virus, he said Thursday morning, a number that has been flat for four days. 

Landlord group Community Housing Improvement Program has previously expressed concern over the state's ability to force banks to comply with mortgage relief rules. In a statement following Cuomo's announcement, the group said it "respects" the decision of the state lawmakers, but called on the federal government to support New York City renters through cash or emergency housing vouchers. 

Residential and commercial landlords have said unpaid rents will upend the property ecosystem. While April collections were better than many expected, there is enormous uncertainty about what kinds of payments will be made in May. Smaller landlords have warned they may go out of business entirely if rents are not paid and they don't see mortgage or tax relief. Executives like Related CEO Jeff Blau have said businesses that can pay their rent have an “obligation" to do so.