Schenectady City court has been busy dealing with residential evictions not covered under the federal moratorium that expired Saturday, a moratorium that landlords and advocates were eager to see come to an end.
A tenant with a pandemic-related hardship cannot be evicted until after Aug. 31 under the New York State’s COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020.
But the moratorium doesn’t provide blanket protection for tenants.
For instance, the moratorium doesn’t apply if a landlord proves a tenant is creating a nuisance or safety hazard, or if the tenant did not submit a hardship declaration, according to a pair of administrative orders from the chief administrative judge of the courts that took effect May 24, until Aug. 31, unless the orders are superseded or extended.
During the moratorium, city court averaged six to 27 eviction hearings per day, or anywhere from 30 to 135 per week since late May, according to Schenectady City Court chief clerk Rebecca Rose.
The weekly numbers change depending on the number of hardship declarations that are filed, Rose said.
In the meantime, there’s an extensive backlog of eviction filings. Due to the hardship moratorium, city court has 250 to 300 cases “stayed” and waiting to be scheduled for appearance sometime after Aug. 31, Rose said.
As of July 22, there were 336 eviction filings pending in the Schenectady City Court, of which 24 have been pending for more than a year, 150 pending for six months to a year, and 162 have been pending for less than six months, according to Joanne M. Mann, deputy district executive of the 4th Judicial District Administrative Office in Saratoga Springs.