New York State’s eviction moratorium expired on January 15th, 2022. Unfortunately, as of yet, the Legislature has failed to take action to extend the moratorium or pass legislation to protect New Yorkers from displacement. I understand that this is a stressful time for many New Yorkers across our state, and I promise to remain committed to fighting to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to safe and affordable housing without the risk of being evicted. In the midst of this situation, I want to provide New Yorkers with the resources and rights you should be aware of.
As of right now, the best way to protect yourself against eviction is to apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which reopened on January 11th, 2022. ERAP was created to provide significant economic relief to help low and moderate-income households at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability by providing rental arrears, temporary rental assistance and utility arrears assistance. While we are fighting for additional rental assistance from the State and Federal Government in the coming weeks, applying for ERAP will provide applicants with protection against eviction until a final decision on their application is made. Apply here.
I also want to make sure that everyone is aware of their rights as a tenant. The following are important rights every tenant should be aware of:
- Your landlord cannot directly evict you – Even if you owe rent and your landlord tells you to move, they cannot legally evict you without taking you to court first. Only a judge can legally evict you and a Marshall with a court order can move your belongings.
- Your landlord cannot change your locks without your permission – Unless your landlord has a warrant for eviction, changing the locks on your apartment without giving you a key is illegal.
- Harassment by landlords is illegal - Any form of harassment by landlords, especially if the goal is to get you to move out, is illegal. This includes and is not limited to physical violence, sexual harassment, property damage, turning off the heat or hot water, and threats of eviction.
CASA Bronx, a tenants rights organization in the Bronx, has also created useful tenants’ rights fliers with more information that are available here in both English and Spanish. The NYC Housing Preservation and Development website also provides resources for tenants. I strongly encourage you to take a look, as knowing your rights can also serve to protect you against eviction.
My office and I are here to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Please email my office at email@example.com or call us 718-822-2049, and a member of my team will assist you.
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi