Federal relief in limbo for landlords

Local

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Money for landlords who have tenants unable to pay rent due to the pandemic is on its way, but a large number of Capital Region property owners will not qualify for the federal funds.

When the December stimulus passed, Schenectady County landlord William Sheldon thought he’d receive assistance for back rent.

“It’s difficult to rent out an apartment when you don’t know if someone’s just going to stop paying their rent or not,” Sheldon said.

His tenant stopped paying rent at the beginning of the pandemic. The federal stimulus would have given him 12 months in back payments. Only thing, this money is designated for counties with a population of more than 200,000 residents.

“It’s obviously frustrating because there’s a mortgage on that house. And a lot of landlords are in a bad position,” Sheldon said.

Schenectady County has a population of about 155,000 people. Landlords in Saratoga and Albany Counties are the only ones in the Capital Region to qualify for the aid.

“For landlords, it’s their due process rights that have been violated and that’s the bottom line,” Sheldon said.

Senator Chuck Schumer announced $9 million is on its way to cover costs for missed rent to Albany County landlords at County Executive Dan McCoy’s 2021 State of the County. Albany County is awaiting guidance from the Treasury Department before it opens up applications to landlords.

“I was hoping we were going to get money. Schenectady is off the list. So we’re not going to see any of that money, and probably no landlord in Schenectady is going to receive that money, and it makes no sense,” Sheldon said.

Without federal relief, the landlord hopes the eviction moratorium’s expiration won’t move away from the now May 1 date.

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