NEW YORK (WETM) – The new extended eviction moratorium law is giving landlords the opportunity to push back, but it might just create more work for them in the end.
Like the old law, struggling renters are still required to fill out a form stating their pandemic-related reasons for not paying rent. With the new law, landlords can go to court to challenge a tenant’s claims.
“It provides landlords a path for eviction… Nobody wants to see anyone homeless but when the tenant falls on difficult times, the landlord obviously has their business interests ultimately at heart,” said Brian McConnell, chief operations officer at Arbor Housing and Development.
After being challenged, if the court does find that a tenant is experiencing financial difficulties, they will be directed to file for the state’s rental relief program. Local attorney, Jamie Michelle Cain, says this process might be difficult for landlords to actually pursue.
“It’s very hard for a landlord to be able to have the documents in their possession to assert that a tenant is facing hardship,” said Cain.
Cain says the impact of the eviction moratoriums on landlords will have a long-lasting impact.
“You build the housing industry, it’s like a finished Jenga game, every single month that has gone by, you pulled out a piece because it’s crumbling, the landlords can’t sustain,” said Cain.
Without an income from renters, some local small business landlords cannot afford to pay their taxes and mortgages, which is impacting bigger state issues.
“Rather than their whole life savings go away, they are selling… they are selling to equity ownership, usually from out of state who knows nothing about the local city,” said Cain. “[Equity ownerships] will convert it to luxury lofts, and there goes your affordable housing…We have an affordable housing crisis in this state.”