We are STILL organizing for a Universal Eviction Moratorium and to Cancel Rent. Join our statewide movement!
LIMITED EVICTION MORATORIUM:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
PLEASE ALSO READ:
- Additional Info on the Moratorium, Pre-Covid Cases, and Court Openings: English | Spanish (soon)
- FAQ on the CDC Moratorium: English | Spanish
Please note: Things are changing quickly. Please keep checking back for updates. This page was last updated on October 19, 2020.
You can also always call the Housing Court Answers hotline at 212-962-4795 with any questions.
Is there an eviction moratorium?
There is no comprehensive eviction moratorium in New York right now. Some New York tenants are protected until January 1, 2021 by the CDC Moratorium or Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order to expand the Tenant Safe Harbor Act to cover tenants with pre-COVID eviction cases. Other tenants are protected from eviction by the Tenant Safe Harbor Act.
The CDC Moratorium protects some tenants - see our full CDC FAQ. The CDC Moratorium prevents landlords from evicting tenants who submit a sworn declaration admitting that they owe rent but saying they have suffered COVID-related financial hardship, have tried to get government assistance, and would be homeless if they are evicted. The protection from eviction only lasts until January 1, 2021
The Tenant Safe Harbor Act prevents landlords from evicting tenants in nonpayment cases for money owed between March 7, 2020 and the beginning of Stage 4 - landlords can only get money judgments in court. Tenants have to show in court that they were hurt financially by COVID-19. Cuomo’s expansion of Safe Harbor protects tenants with pre-pandemic eviction cases/warrants from eviction, but only until January 1, 2021. Cuomo’s order also only covers tenants who can show they were financially impacted by COVID-19.
Who is NOT protected by the CDC Moratorium or the Safe Harbor Act?
Some tenants in holdover proceedings (eviction cases filed for something other than back rent). Tenants who cannot prove in court that they were hurt financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most tenants will need legal representation to defend themselves in court - so tenants outside of NYC where there is no Right to Counsel (or right to a lawyer) are vulnerable.
What if a sheriff’s or marshal’s lockout notice or warrant has already been issued?
Landlords must file with the court for permission to evict a tenant who had a warrant and judgment prior to March 7, 2020.
All the notices of eviction served by marshals prior to March 17 expired during the COVID lockdown. The landlord needs permission from the court to proceed and the marshals must re-serve all the notices.
Outside of NYC, if you have a pending eviction notice, please call the agency listed on the warrant (i.e. County Sheriffs) to find out if your eviction has been re-scheduled.
I have an upcoming court date for my eviction case, what should I do?
For NYC tenants, the Right to Counsel law protects you and you should be able to get a lawyer for your court date. Call Housing Court Answers at 212-962-4795 for a referral to a free legal service provider.
In areas outside of NYC, especially in areas without separate courts for housing, you should call the court to confirm if your date has been scheduled. For more information, call your local tenant organization or 833-503-0447 for assistance.
I am an NYC tenant and I have an upcoming court date for an emergency. What should I do?
Your hearing will go forward if you have a hearing for an illegal lockout or emergency housing conditions. You should try to get connected to a legal service provider ( or call Housing Court Answers at 212-962-4795). Your hearing will be in a special court room and you will be able to appear by remote video or in person, if that is your choice.
What if I can’t pay my rent?
Landlords are able to file new cases against tenants. You might get a notice telling you that the landlord has filed a case against you. If you have a court date on your papers, try to get connected to a legal service provider.
New York City tenants who have to appear in Housing Court on eviction cases will be provided with legal representation thanks to Right to Counsel.
What if my landlord locks me out illegally?
If you are a NYC tenant, you can file at an emergency court room to be let back into your unit. The courts and the city are referring all post-eviction and illegal lock out cases to the Right to Counsel legal services organizations, regardless of where you live or your income.
If you are a tenant outside of NYC, please call your local Legal Services office and active tenants union/tenant organization as soon as possible after the lockout. For more information and to get connected, email Pablo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can my landlord try to vacate my unit?
Vacate orders are issued when an apartment is dangerous or illegal, and only city agencies can issue them. Landlords are not legally empowered to directly issue vacate orders. During this crisis, we would expect vacate orders to be rare -- in response to truly dangerous situations or as the result of a fire. Once a vacate order is issued, tenants have the right to access relocation services provided by City agencies. Relocation services remain open during the crisis.
How do I get needed repairs from my landlord if courts are closed?
In NYC, you can go to housing court for emergency repairs. You can file your own case (using JustFix.NYC) or go in person to your borough's housing court. All other options to get repairs are still available, for instance by calling 311, applying to DHCR for a rent reduction, etc. However, please keep in mind that because of the COVID 19 pandemic City and State enforcement agencies may be working with limited staff, and it may take longer to get repairs or inspections.
Emergency repairs for NYC tenants include heat and hot water cases, vacates, access for heat and hot water, and other major emergencies, lead cases with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and/or violations for lead remediation. Outside of NYC, please call your local Legal Services office or organizing group for support!
How can I get more information?
Statewide hotline: 833-503-0447, open 24/7. Press They will soon be able to answer questions in all languages with interpreters. This is a referral line only -- hotline workers aren’t able to answer specific legal questions, but they will be able to direct you to the courts, clerks offices and other resources in your region. If you don’t get through the first time, keep trying!
In NYC, you can also call Housing Court Answers, 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday: 212-962-4795 or 718-557-1379. Calls are answered directly in Spanish, English and French, and interpreters are used for all other languages through the LanguageLine translation service.
In the Capital District and in Upstate NY, you can call United Tenants of Albany's Housing Hotline, 9am-5pm Monday-Friday at (518) 436-8997, ext. 3 for referrals and guidance about your housing questions. For speakers of languages other than English, interpreting services are available through LanguageLine.