Commercial evictions up in air as current ban winds down

Jan. 23 executive order extended a ban on commercial eviction until Feb. 22

New York /
Feb.February 10, 2021 03:35 PM
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty, iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty, iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

UPDATED, Feb. 10 2021, 6:38 p.m.: New York’s moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures expires in 12 days, and a bill to replace it may have hit a roadblock.

The current ban stems from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s March 2020 moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures, which he has repeatedly extended. The latest extension, through a Jan. 23 executive order, prevents those actions from taking place until Feb. 22.

A spokesperson for Cuomo told Eater that the governor has “no intention” of signing another executive order to prolong the ban on commercial evictions and foreclosures. Instead, the publication said, he will focus on legislation to forestall those actions until May 1.

But Cuomo has yet to take action on legislation that would make the ban semi-permanent. A bill sponsored by Long Island Sen. Anna Kaplan passed in both the state Senate and Assembly in late January — but Cuomo has not yet signed it. The measure would put off evictions and foreclosures until May 1, mirroring a similar ban on residential evictions that’s already in place.

The legislature passed the residential eviction bill late last year, and Cuomo signed it the same day.

Jack Sterne, a spokesperson for Cuomo, said that prohibiting commercial evictions and foreclosures is part of an effort to help small businesses weather the crisis, and that Kaplan’s bill is meant to replace the executive orders.

“[W]e are working with the houses on slight modifications to this language to ensure that the spirit of the Executive Order is carried through into law,” said Sterne.

Kaplan’s bill would allow businesses with 50 or fewer employees to file a hardship declaration in order to stave off evictions until at least May 1. In addition, all pending commercial eviction cases, (including those filed before the pandemic, until 30 days after the enactment of the legislation) would be stayed for at least 60 days.

Businesses with 50 or fewer employees and landlords with 10 or fewer units could also claim hardship to prevent a foreclosure until May. The legislation would also mandate that lenders cannot use a stay of commercial foreclosure to determine whether to lend to landlords with 10 or fewer units, if the borrower files a hardship declaration. It also bans negative credit reporting for borrowers who filed those declarations.

Landlords could still evict commercial tenants if they “engage in unreasonable behavior,” but in order to do so, the landlord would have to submit documentation to prove that the behavior infringes on other tenants’ rights or is a “substantial safety hazard to others.”

Sylvia Varnham O’Regan contributed reporting.

UPDATE: This piece was updated to add a statement from a spokesperson for Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator James Skoufis (Credit: Getty Images, NY Senate)
    Owners of some residential properties can’t hide behind LLCs anymore
    Owners of some residential properties can’t hide behind LLCs anymore
    Governor Andrew Cuomo and 538 Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)
    Landlords take another hit: Cuomo signs expanded Loft Law
    Landlords take another hit: Cuomo signs expanded Loft Law
    Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)
    Cuomo wants to exempt NYC from prevailing wage bill
    Cuomo wants to exempt NYC from prevailing wage bill
    (iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
    State will use undercover testers to combat housing discrimination
    State will use undercover testers to combat housing discrimination
    Steve Witkoff and Ian Schrager in front of the iconic PUBLIC hotel escalators. (PUBLIC, Getty)
    EB-5 fund alleges Schrager, Witkoff siphoned money from Public Hotel
    EB-5 fund alleges Schrager, Witkoff siphoned money from Public Hotel
    Best Buy has closed about 20 of its big-box stores in each of the past two years (iStock)
    Best Buy lays off 5,000 staffers, increases store closures
    Best Buy lays off 5,000 staffers, increases store closures
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty, iStock)
    Critics say real estate got Cuomo to “circumvent” city’s climate law
    Critics say real estate got Cuomo to “circumvent” city’s climate law
    Ryan Serhant and Gary Barnett on Development Slowdown in Pandemic
    Coffee Talk: Extell’s Gary Barnett and Ryan Serhant
    Coffee Talk: Extell’s Gary Barnett and Ryan Serhant
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...