Through Executive decree 202.70, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo further extended – until January 1, 2021 – the moratorium prohibiting the initiation of proceedings or the execution of (i) an eviction of a commercial tenant for non-payment rent, or (ii) foreclosure of a commercial mortgage for non-payment.
This latest decree represents the fourth extension of the moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures originally provided for in Decree 202.28, published in March of this year. The new order now coincides with the moratorium on residential evictions.
These extensions have repeatedly shifted the light further down the tunnel and delayed the prospect of relief for homeowners, who face their own financial strains.
According to the governor’s office, this latest extension “gives commercial tenants and mortgagors more time to get back on their feet and make up for rent or their mortgage, or to renegotiate the terms of their lease to avoid foreclosure. the future”. However, renegotiating rents below the required minimum thresholds can put these same borrowers in default on their loans. And, even if homeowners manage to temporarily reduce mortgage costs, they remain responsible for non-negotiable carrying costs, including taxes, insurance, maintenance and repairs.
Commercial and residential tenants remain technically responsible for unpaid rents accrued during the moratorium. However, tenants and their guarantors can seek bankruptcy protection or otherwise give up property (upon conclusion of the moratorium) as their responsibilities continue to grow. Small landlords and homeowners will be left behind and may be forced to file their own bankruptcy.
New York State’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, 2019, the most recent Tenant Safe Harbor Act, and various executive orders issued by the governor continue to transform the way landlords treat defaulting tenants. Each situation is unique and homeowners are advised to consult with a knowledgeable lawyer who is able to navigate these complex and ever-changing requirements, and discuss the options and resources that can be used to assist in obtaining possession of their property and to collect the overdue rent.