Legal Aid Society explains moratoriums on evictions

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FILE – In this May 20, 2020, file photo, signs that read “No Job No Rent” hang from the windows of an apartment building during the coronavirus pandemic in Northwest Washington. The pandemic has shut housing courts and prompted authorities around the U.S. to initiate policies protecting renters from eviction. But not everyone is covered, and some landlords are turning to threats and harassment to force tenants out. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York (LASNNY) is encouraging people facing eviction from financial hardships related to the coronavirus pandemic to call them. They say the rules aren’t straight forward and every situation is different.

In March Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order for an eviction moratorium to expire June 20. It doesn’t mean renters aren’t responsible for paying back rent, it simply means they cannot be evicted because they can’t pay.

Attorney David Crossman, a housing expert at LASNNY, says even though eviction courts have resumed business they are focusing on cases opened before New York Pause. He says the 3rd and 4th Judicial Districts, responsible for cases in the Capital Region, say they are not hearing rent default cases but instead are handling eviction cases filed prior to March 16.

Crossman along with LASNNY Executive Director, Lillian Moy, says if there anyone has a question about the eviction moratorium or are worried about eviction they should reach out to the organization. Moy says the moratorium has been extended, with added provisions, through August 20 and says people should start planning now.

Moy says she understands that tenants may be confused about the moratorium. She wants people to know their rights and the nuances of the law so they can be prepared for when the moratorium expires on August 20.

Moy says she’s also concerned that LASNNY, a non-profit organization, will lose funding. She says they are already training volunteers to handle the expected influx of rent-related cases but says funding is crucial.

LASNNY’s Legal Line can be reached at 1-833-628-0087.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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