ALBANY — Businesses slipping behind on rent over coronavirus-related shortfalls have been granted another month before they can be evicted.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday extended the coronavirus-related emergency moratorium on evictions and foreclosures of commercial properties until Oct. 20.
The executive order gives commercial tenants another month to catch up on their mortgage or rental payments, and is an extension of the moratorium that expired Sunday.
Cuomo called extending the ban the “right decision.”
“The pandemic remains far from over and we need to continue protecting the business owners supporting their families amid restrictions necessary to protect the public health,” Cuomo said.
A ban on residential evictions will continue indefinitely as a result of legislation enacted by the state Legislature in June.
“The crisis is still ongoing,” Cuomo said.
That legislation bars residential tenants from being evicted if they fall behind on rent due to COVID-related financial hardship.
Cuomo first announced a temporary hold on residential and commercial evictions on March 20.
In New York City, where restaurants will be allowed to open their dining rooms on Sept. 30 for the first time since mid-March, 90 percent of bar and restaurant owners couldn’t pay their rent in August, the New York Post reported on Monday, citing a survey from the NYS Hospitality Alliance.
Gleaning data for upstate restaurants is murkier, and it’s unclear how many commercial tenants face default in the Capital Region.
Mark Eagan, president and CEO of the Capital Region Chamber, acknowledged the retail and restaurant industries have been harder hit than the office sector, but there’s not a centralized data source compiling that information locally.
The New York State Restaurant Association released a report earlier this month stating nearly two-thirds of restaurants surveyed said they wouldn’t survive the end of the year without a government aid package.
Yet the group hasn’t specifically polled its members on rent-related woes, and didn’t provide a comment on Monday.
The percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus statewide on Sunday was 0.98 percent, a number that rises to 1 percent in the Capital Region.
One died in New York state on Sunday, bringing the official death toll to 25,428.
“We won’t stop until that number is zero,” Cuomo said.
Four-hundred and sixty-eight people were hospitalized on Monday, 134 of them in the intensive care unit.
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It would seem to me that residential and business tenants should be required to make a partial payment towards their rent or lease. Residential tenants have gotten stimulus and /or unemployment benefits. Once the virus goes away, hopefully with a vaccine, some sort of payment plan over time should be required to catch up, before evicting.