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September 30th, 2020
New York Extends Restrictions on Evictions, Foreclosures, and Enforcement of Personal Liability Provisions
The ongoing pandemic continues to affect New York real estate landlords and tenants. Here’s an update on recent developments.
Extension of Moratorium on Commercial Evictions and Foreclosures
By Executive Order 202.64, Governor Cuomo has extended through October 20, 2020 the moratorium prohibiting initiation of an eviction proceeding -- or enforcement of an eviction – against any commercial tenant for nonpayment of rent. The moratorium also prohibits foreclosure of any commercial mortgage for nonpayment.
Extension of Moratorium on Residential Evictions
New York’s Tenant Safe Harbor Act prohibits courts from issuing a warrant of eviction or judgment of possession against a residential tenant who has suffered a financial hardship for the non-payment of rent that accrues or becomes due during the COVID-19 covered period. The COVID-19 covered period commenced on March 7, 2020 and continues until the date on which none of the NY State Executive Orders issued in response to the pandemic that closed or restricted businesses or public places or non-essential gatherings continue to apply. NY State Executive Order 202.66 extended the Tenant Safe Harbor Act to January 1, 2021, including any cases where a judgment or warrant of eviction for a residential property was granted prior to March 7, 2020.
Extension of NY City Personal Liability Lease Law
NY City’s Personal Liability Lease Law, which originally covered tenant defaults and events occurring between March 7, 2020 and September 30, 2020, was just extended to cover defaults occurring between March 7, 2020 and March 31, 2021. The Personal Liability Lease Law prohibits the enforcement of personal liability provisions in commercial leases or rental agreements involving commercial tenants that were impacted by the NY State Executive Orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that mandated closures and service limitations. These tenants include: (1) businesses that were required to stop serving food or beverages on-premises (restaurants and bars); (2) businesses that were required to cease operations altogether (gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters); (3) retail businesses that were required to close and/or were subject to in-person restrictions; and (4) businesses that were required to close to the public (barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors and related personal care services). Threatening to or attempting to enforce a personal liability provision in a commercial lease is considered tenant harassment.
 Chapter 127 of the Laws of the State of New York
 N.Y.C. Council Intro. No. 2083-2020
 The Personal Liability Lease Law applies only to individuals, not entities.