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Small landlords demand end to eviction moratorium

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Small landlords from around the city rallied across the street from the governor’s office in East Midtown Thursday, calling for an end to the state’s eviction moratorium.

Last month, the property owners filed a class-action Article 78 lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court against Governor Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James and New York State over the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020.

(Photo by The Village Sun)
(Photo by The Village Sun)

The suit states that on June 24, “Governor Cuomo declared that the state of emergency in New York is over, yet this arbitrary and capricious eviction moratorium remains.”

In May, Cuomo extended the eviction moratorium to Aug. 31.

The litigation aims to halt the eviction ban — slamming it as unconstitutional — and block any further extensions of it. The suit was filed on behalf of a landlord in Chemung County, which is located between Ithaca and Corning, N.Y.

(Photo by The Village Sun)
(Photo by The Village Sun)

The rally was organized by the group NY Landlords. The property owners say they are unfairly being asked to carry a burden that other businesses are not.

Most of those at the rally were Asian, and most of the speakers’ comments were in Chinese.

“Translation!” a non-Asian woman in the crowd called out at one point.

“The law created a situation with no rent for a year or two,” a speaker said in frustration, in English.

The landlords chanted at the governor’s office building, across Third Ave. from them. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Infuriating landlords, while the eviction ban is meant to apply to tenants facing “COVID-related hardship,” tenants who were facing eviction before the pandemic have been protected by the moratorium, as well.

“Because the lawmakers keep on extending this unfair blanket eviction moratorium, a lot of our members are now are on the brink of bankruptcy,” a message on the group’s Web site states, in part. “The blanket moratorium…has forced a lot of small mom and pop landlords into debt and foreclosure. It’s time to stand up for our rights and get our voices heard!”

As former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn recently wrote in a talking point, estimates show that due to the pandemic’s economic downturn, 831,000 households across New York State are behind on rent, owing an estimated $3.2 billion.

4 Comments

  1. Paul DeRienzo Paul DeRienzo August 21, 2021

    There’s plenty of money but some landlords won’t take it. There are those landlords who have evictionitis and it’s harder to cure than COVID.

    • End the unconstitutional eviction moratorium End the unconstitutional eviction moratorium August 22, 2021

      Thats nonsense. I have not got any rent since Dec 2019. Tenant have brought in squatters and due to the unconstitutional moratorium i cannot evict. This squatters have been paying the tenant while almost 2 years now i have not got a penny. The tenant or squatters does not apply for relief either because they cannot prove the hardship which they never faced.

  2. Eric Hiltner Eric Hiltner August 21, 2021

    Landlords provided free housing for many during the pandemic and most haven’t gotten one penny or thank you. Housing provided a big defense against the virus. The CDC took over the buildings because they knew public housing was about the only way to secure most people from the virus. Would you work for nothing for a year and pay the taxes, water and bills and bills and not get one penny for it? They are taking the money and not paying landlords, including many that make affordable housing in the areas of the state with the worst crime and poverty.

  3. Chris Flash Chris Flash August 22, 2021

    There are TWO (or more) sides to everything.

    The eviction moratorium has been a great thing for those who need it, but WHERE is the moratorium on real estate taxes, mortgages and other expenses for small property owners struggling to survive?

    I have spoken with several such persons and families on the Lower East Side. They do NOT want to evict anyone, but they don’t want to lose their properties either. They tell me that the city is making it IMPOSSIBLE for them to survive.

    The truth is that the eviction moratorium is a setup for mass evictions under the guise of “helping” tenants. When the moratorium finally ends, tenants will wind up owing $30,000 to $40,000 in back rent that they cannot possibly pay.

    Meanwhile, rental income or no rental income, the city wants EVERY PENNY of real estate taxes from property owners, whose assessments increase each year due to a hyper-inflated market as rents remain frozen by law. If property owners can’t pay, they can lose their buildings.

    In addition, rent or no rent, property owners must continue providing heat and hot water, which Con Ed and the city wants to be paid for as well. If property owners can’t pay to provide those services, the city can issue violations against them.

    Also, rent or no rent, property owners must continue paying their mortgages. If property owners have no income to cover their monthly note payments, lenders can foreclose on them and take their buildings.

    Real estate vultures with vast holdings can weather long periods of little or no rents paid, but not small property owners. When they lose their buildings or are forced to sell because they can no longer afford to keep them, the vultures will get their buildings.

    By simply filing a demolition permit, all those great rent protections passed in 2019 will be GONE. New units built on the site of apartment houses acquired by the vultures will be unaffordable “luxury” and “market-rate” units for moneyed transients.

    By “upzoning” and providing tax abatements for new development, the city makes this process even more desirable for the vultures.

    From what I am seeing, there appears to be a three-pronged plan in play by the city and its real estate/bankster masters:

    1 – Get rid of low-to-middle-income tenants in favor of moneyed transients

    2 – Get rid of small property owners in favor of the vultures

    3 – Get rid of small businesses in favor of chain stores (just look at all of the EMPTY stores all over the city)

    City councilmembers, assemblymembers and mayors are 100% behind this plan. They have done NOTHING to stop it, nor will they, as they know WHO butters their bread.

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