New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a measure that extended the state’s moratorium on commercial evictions through to January 31, 2021. The governor has also publicly proposed extending the eviction moratorium until May 1, similar to an extension that was recently passed for residential evictions. The commercial eviction moratorium is seen by many as a stop-gap measure that fails to address the larger economic concerns felt by many small businesses throughout New York State.
What is the Commercial Eviction Moratorium?
The commercial eviction moratorium is a legal suspension on all evictions of commercial tenants in New York State. In effect, it makes it illegal for commercial landlords to evict their tenants while it is in place, so long as that eviction is the result of nonpayment of rent due to the coronavirus pandemic. That means that a commercial tenant can remain in their rented space even if they are not currently able to pay rent, so long as they otherwise remain in compliance with their rental agreement.
Why is There a Moratorium on Commercial Evictions?
The commercial eviction moratorium was originally put in place back in March of 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic first became serious enough to warrant quarantine measures. These measures resulted in many businesses being forced to close for months, while others were forced to limit their business in ways that substantially hurt their bottom line. This led to many businesses going deep into debt, facing a large drop in their income while still struggling with costs like rent and utility bills.
The eviction moratorium is a recognition of the fact that many businesses are still struggling to get back on their feet, even once the quarantine restrictions were lifted. Without the suspension on commercial evictions, many small businesses would be forced out of their current locations and effectively driven out of business through no fault of their own. The moratorium gives them a small lifeline to at least make sure they can keep their places of business while they are trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
What Do People Think About the Commercial Eviction Moratorium?
Commercial landlords are, unsurprisingly, not happy about the prospect of the eviction moratorium being extended even longer than it already has been. For some, it has been more than half a year since the last time they collected rent from their tenants, and with the moratorium in place, they cannot evict delinquent commercial tenants. This means business tenants are staying in their buildings, while landlords are incurring maintenance costs and property taxes, but they have been unable to collect rent to cover the costs of those expenses.
Commercial tenants are not much happier about the situation, however. Many business owners have hoped for more extensive financial support from the government to help with their financial woes, but that help has been sparse at best. The moratorium, in their eyes, is a stopgap measure that fails to deal with the real economic issues at hand. However, for the moment, it at least means they can stay in business and try to recover from the effects of the coronavirus.
The landlord-tenant attorneys at Blodnick, Fazio and Clark are ready to represent you in your landlord-tenant dispute. With offices conveniently located in Garden City, Nassau County, and Babylon, Suffolk County, the firm provides high-quality legal services at reasonable fees. If you require legal assistance concerning rent disputes, unsafe conditions on your property, violations of your lease agreement, or another related matter, call (516) 280-7105 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.