New York governor Andrew Cuomo extended the ban on Covid-related commercial evictions and foreclosures on Tuesday. Landlords are now prevented from attempting to oust commercial tenants through January 1. The moratorium had been set to expire on October 20.
“The health and economic impacts of this pandemic have been devastating, and we are continuing to do everything we can to support people who are suffering,” Cuomo said in a statement.
New York first imposed a commercial ban on March 20, which ran for 90 days at the outset. It was later extended an additional 90 days. Meanwhile, many landlords offered rent deferrals or abatements on their properties.
The extended moratorium is intended as an additional layer of protection for New York’s businesses, many of which are facing huge revenue losses. As one anecdote, a survey from Eater found that nearly 40% of restaurants didn’t pay rent in July, as they struggled to stay afloat. A large number of those establishments are working to negotiate new, more affordable leases for the long-term.
The economic climate has led many landlords to call for government relief of their own. The complaints are especially loud from residential landlords. In September Cuomo extended the residential eviction ban for New Yorkers through the end of year, allowing tenants who haven’t met their rent obligations since the start of the pandemic to remain in their homes.
There is concern that, without a new stimulus bill from Washington—which seems increasingly likely—there will be a dramatic spike in residential non-payments. Cuomo’s actions were intended to preempt the evictions that would have followed.
Still, those impacts will manifest down the road. Reuters reports that an estimated $32 billion in unpaid rent will come due across the U.S. in January. That could lead to 8 million evictions, more than double the total tally in a normal year.