October Legislative Update: The Problems with ‘Good Cause’ Evictions and Eviction Moratoriums

Philip Weiden | October 5, 2021

Philip Weiden

The eviction moratorium has gone on for longer than it should have. While the pandemic is still with us, New York has been opening up. The virus is now likely to become “endemic” meaning that it is a condition we have to live with and adjust to.

Legislation to provide rental aid has been passed, however only around 10% of the money has actually been utilized. This is due to website errors, unreasonable requirements for the application, and the fact that a landlord has to go through the tenant in order to receive the aid. There is currently a bill in Congress to try and rectify these issues, but the bill is in the financial services committee and has not yet been authorized.

This, along with “Good Cause Eviction,” violates private property rights. We must continue to lobby to correct these issues. Good Cause Eviction takes away a landlord’s ability to set the terms of their lease. This is in itself, a violation of contracts. We should continue to work to change this. Thankfully, we do have allies in the legislature who agree with us on this issue. It would hurt the marketplace by capping rents at around 3% or the CPI as good cause eviction does. This will depress investment.

Another venue is the courts. The Community Housing Improvement Program, RSA and other organizations have filed lawsuits against the state eviction moratorium. The federal eviction moratorium was struck down. This was a major victory for private property rights federally.

Let your Senators and Assembly members know that you oppose “Good Cause” eviction and the eviction moratorium. Stay tuned for updates on these issues.

Philip Weiden
Legislative Affairs columnist Philip Weiden is the Government Affairs Director for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.