Key provisions from the new eviction moratorium bill:

No current court case

  • If a tenant has not yet been served for nonpayment/holdover, AND they have applied for ERAP, the landlord CANNOT commence a nonpayment/holdover case until OTDA has determined if the tenant is ineligible for ERAP.

  • Landlords must serve the revised hardship declaration when the landlord serves a 14-day rent demand, a notice to quit/termination preceding a holdover, and/or court papers (Notice of Petition & Petition).

    • BUT: landlords can still start a court case if they file an affidavit of service of the hardship declaration which says: they received a signed hardship declaration, BUT they believe in good faith that the hardship does not exist.

      • The Notice of Petition served on a tenant must state that:

        • The tenant is entitled to a hearing if the landlord is challenging the validity of the hardship, and

        • If the court rules that the hardship claim is invalid, the court case can continue but the tenant cannot be evicted unless/until the court issues a warrant of eviction.

 

Pending cases with no final judgment (including default judgment): if the tenant/occupant gives a signed hardship declaration to the landlord/court, the case is stayed until at least January 15, 2022.  The landlord is required to file the hardship declaration with the court if the tenant provides it to the landlord.

  • *EXCEPTION: if the tenant

    • Intentionally caused significant damage to the property, or

    • Persistently and unreasonably engaging in behavior that substantially infringes on the use and enjoyment of other tenants or occupants, or

    • Causes a substantial safety hazard to others.

 

  • The court case must be a nuisance holdover, where the landlord already claimed the tenant engaged in such behavior.  Otherwise, if these are new allegations that do not have to do with the pending court case, the landlord must start a new court case based on such allegations.

 

  • The Landlord can challenge whether the tenant/occupant actually has a hardship, and the court has to hold a hearing to determine if the claim of hardship is valid.

    • If a court decides yes, the claim is valid, the court must grant a stay/continue the stay, and direct the landlord & tenant to apply to ERAP if they have not yet done so.

    • If a court decides no, the claim is not valid, the case will continue as normal.

 

  • If a member of the household HAS ALREADY APPLIED OR DOES APPLY for ERAP, the court case is STAYED until OTDA has determined if the tenant is ineligible for ERAP.

    • EXCEPTION: a landlord who has already accepted ERAP monies CAN bring holdover proceeding against a tenant if the tenant intentionally causes significant damage to the property, or is persistently and unreasonably engaging in behavior that substantially infringes on the use and enjoyment of other tenants or occupants, or causes a substantial safety hazard to others.

 

Pending cases, warrant of eviction already issued but not yet executed: court must stay execution of the warrant until the court holds a conference with the landlord and tenant.

  • If the tenant/occupant gives a signed hardship declaration to the landlord/court, execution on the warrant is stayed until at least January 15, 2022.  The landlord is required to file the hardship declaration with the court if the tenant provides it to the landlord.

  • The Landlord can challenge whether the tenant/occupant actually has a hardship, and the court has to hold a hearing to determine if the claim of hardship is valid.

    • If a court decides yes, the claim is valid, the court must grant a stay/continue the stay of execution on the warrant of eviction.

    • If a court decides no, the claim is not valid, the eviction can proceed.

 

  • *EXCEPTION: if the tenant intentionally caused significant damage to the property, or is persistently and unreasonably engaging in behavior that substantially infringes on the use and enjoyment of other tenants or occupants, or causes a substantial safety hazard to others.

    • The court case must be a nuisance holdover, where the landlord already claimed the tenant engaged in such behavior.  Otherwise, the landlord must start a new court case based on such allegations.

    • If final judgment already issued on the basis of nuisance behavior AND landlord claims the tenant is persistently and unreasonably engaging in behavior that substantially infringes on the use and enjoyment of other tenants or occupants, or causes a substantial safety hazard to others, the court must hold a hearing to determine if the tenant is continuing to persist in such behavior.