According to the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, a landlord who accepts funds from New York State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) is prohibited from evicting a tenant for not paying rent during the period covered or for an expired lease during the 12 months following the receipt of such payment. While many tenants consider ERAP a protective shield for nonpayment of rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, its protections are limited. Arrears that remain after the application of ERAP funds, whether for rent owed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic or not covered by the ERAP payment, remain the tenant’s responsibility and potentially subject the tenant to eviction in a summary non-payment proceeding. In this case, the tenant is still owed an exorbitant amount of money following ERAP’s assistance payment to the landlord. In fact, subsequent to the ERAP payment, the tenant of record failed to make even a single rent payment for nearly an entire year, causing the arrears to balloon. The tenant also abandoned the premises and left an unauthorized occupant in possession. Said occupant created a nuisance and deprived other remaining residents of the subject building of their ability to peacefully reside therein.
Within six months of filing the nonpayment petition on behalf of the landlord, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was able to successfully defeat two orders to show cause brought by the occupant to stay the execution of the warrant of eviction. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. ultimately evicted all occupants from the unit, returning legal possession to its client.