Much attention has been given to the plight of tenants unable to pay rent in New York as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which spurred a “Cancel Rent” movement across many neighborhoods. While tenants’ struggles should not be minimized or disregarded, New York City landlords, especially small ones, are feeling the financial pressure too.
New York’s Limiting Legislation
The last two years have left landlords’ heads spinning and hands wringing. In June 2019, massive revisions were made to the laws pertaining to various aspects of the landlord/tenant relationship, narrowing and eliminating certain rights and creating significant confusion. Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, court closures, stays of all evictions, and the slow rollout of government funds for rent relief have frustrated and burdened landlords with little to no rental income and few avenues to recoup their losses.