NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Eviction moratoriums are meant to protect people who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But landlords who had authorized evictions before the COVID-19 pandemic hit are now left in limbo, and out tens of thousands of dollars.

“She’s playing the system, and the courts are allowing people like her to do this,” a landlord who asked we not reveal her name told CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

MORE: New Yorkers Brace For The End Of Residential Eviction Moratorium: ‘I Can’t Be Out On The Street’

The landlord is talking about her tenant, who lives in the apartment connected to her home.

“May 2018 she came, and August 2019 she stopped paying,” the landlord said.

The landlord first put up notices demanding back rent. Then, at the beginning of March, a judge granted an eviction for April 30th.

“I was relieved that she was going. But, then COVID came and there’s no evictions,” the landlord said.

Joseph Strasburg is the president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which has 25,000 members. He says this scenario is not uncommon.

“When the governor extended the moratorium, he did not make a distinction between pre-COVID cases and post-COVID cases,” Strasburg said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s eviction moratorium now extends until Jan. 2021, and protects people with financial hardships due to the pandemic. Those with earlier cases are also benefiting.

Housing courts resumed eviction cases on Oct. 12, but warned the process would take much longer than usual.

MORE: Eviction Fears Rise As New York City Tries To Fend Off Second Wave Of COVID-19

“You can theoretically have completed cases and somewhere in 2021, assuming they have lifted the moratorium, then there’s another delay of several months before you could actually get that tenant out,” Strasburg said.

Cline-Thomas knocked, but the tenant wasn’t home to give her side of the story.

The landlord is already out nearly $17,000 and also needs the space for her disabled husband.

“He was a fireman, a paratrooper, and we gotta go through all this for her,” the landlord said.

For now, she hast to wait, with back rent and legal fees piling up.

Since June, more than 22,000 new eviction proceedings have been filed in housing courts across the city. A vast majority cite tenants not paying rent.

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Comments (2)
  1. SmallHomeowner says:

    More and more tenants are taking advantage of the blanket eviction moratorium, and many small homeowners are with their backs against the wall because of it. Tenants know they won’t have to prove financial hardship until small homeowners finally get a hearing in housing court — and that until then they can do whatever they want under the cover of the moratorium, even destroy the apartment. I was assaulted by my tenant and have an order of protection against him, but I’m still forced to live in fear of him in my own house — and watch how he continues his lavish lifestyle (nice car, constant deliveries, going to the beach, going skiing, etc.). He owes me more than $25,000 in rent, and is literally laughing at me because I can’t do anything about it. People think all landlords are bad, but there’s a difference between corporate landlords and small landlords. We’re good enough to pay the property taxes that keep the city running, but when it comes to protecting us from abuse we’re all alone.

  2. Voltaire42 says:

    #TerrorizedByTennants The NYS socialist regime (DSA) does not believe in private property. Their goal is to give all property rights to tenants. As a property owner, even if you do not own rental property, your rights are being infringed.

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