A Conversation about Commercial Leases

Our BID colleagues at the Noho and Soho BIDs hosted a webinar about commercial leases with panelists Brian Steinwurtzel of GFP Real Estate, Samuel J. Himmelstein of HMGDJ Law and Ronen Glimer  of Artists & Fleas. You can check out the recording HERE using the password 7x^^3G2Q. Here is an overview of New York State and City Proposed Legislation and Executive Orders Relating to Tenant/Landlord Relief:

Executive Orders Relating to Tenant/Landlord Relief:

Executive Order 202.8

March 20, 2020

There shall be no enforcement of either an eviction of any tenant residential or commercial, or a foreclosure of any residential or commercial property for a period of ninety days.

Executive Order 202.28

May 8, 2020

Security deposits may be applied towards rent, but must be repaid over a year.

Distressed tenants will be entitled to demand this relief from landlords.

No late fees

There will be no initiation or enforcement of eviction proceedings for nonpayment of rent “from [May 8, 2020] through June 6, 2020…for a period of sixty days beginning June 20th…” for residential or commercial tenants in financial hardship.

New York State and City Proposed Legislation

State Senate Bill S8125A

  • March 23, 2020
  • Any residential tenant or small business commercial tenant shall have a ninety day cancellation of rent following the effective date of the act.
  • Applies to those who lost income or were forced to close their place of business.
  • Residential tenant or small business commercial tenant whose lease expires during the ninety day cancellation period, “shall be subject to an automatic renewal lease at the current rent charged.”
  • No late fees.
  • Landlords who lose rent will receive mortgage forgiveness in proportion to the lost rent.
  • Shall take effect immediately.

State Senate Bill S8139

  • March 29, 2020
  • Any tenant, commercial or residential, who has lost earned income, forced to close a place of business, or whose business is “substantially curtailed” shall pay 30% of current income or lease rent, whichever is less for ninety days.
  • The rule will be a defense to a nonpayment proceeding.
  • Any lease expiration during the state of emergency can be renewed on the same terms at the tenant’s option.
  • No late fees.
  • Affected landlords may apply to DHCR for relief, and DHCR will distribute available funds to the extent possible.
  • No summary eviction proceedings for at least thirty days after state of emergency is lifted.
  • A fund will be created for “relief due to reduced rental income caused by [the pandemic].”
  • Effective as of March 7, 2020.

State Senate Bill S8175

  • April 13, 2020
  • No RGB increases for one year leases during a state of emergency.

State Senate Bill S8190A

  • Mortgage relief for homeowners
  • Lenders must give a ninety day forbearance
  • Relief for small landlords
  • Small landlords will be reimbursed in monthly payments if 10% or more of rental income is lost due to COVID-19until the emergency is over.
  • Relief for affordable housing operators
  • Reimbursement in monthly payments of lost rent if 10% or more of rental income is lost due to COVID-19 until the emergency is over.
  • Loss of 10% or less can also be reimbursed.
  • Relief for residential coops
  • Reimbursement in monthly payments if 10% or more of maintenance is lost due to COVID-10 until the emergency is over.
  • Regulatory relief for affordable housing and coops:
  • Right to use or apply any operating account reserves toward or for building or housing project operations or the satisfaction of any debts or obligations arising from financial hardship caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Right to withhold any mortgage or construction loan principal payments, mortgage or construction loan interest payments, or mortgage or construction loan extension fee payments due and owing to the state or any political subdivision thereof and apply such mortgage interest payments to housing project operations

State Assembly Bill A10247

  • April 8, 2020
  • [Same as State Senate Bill S8139 reducing rent obligations to 30% of income or lease rent, and providing certain other relief to both landlords and tenants]

New York City Council Measure

  • Press Release April 21, 2020
  • Evictions and the collection of debt would be paused for all NYC renters, including residential and commercial tenants.
  • Apply to actions against all New Yorkers through the duration of this crisis. 
  • For New Yorkers impacted by COVID-19, marshals and sheriffs would be barred from collecting debts and performing evictions until April 2021.
  • Prohibition on harassing a tenant based on their status as person impacted by COVID-19.
  • Including whether they are an essential worker or because they were laid off, or because they’ve received a rental concession or forbearance. 
  • Violations would be punishable by a civil penalty of $2,000 to $10,000.