On August 12, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that, at least for now, New York Landlords should not have to wait to evict tenants who self-certify that they have suffered a financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Chrysafis v. Marks the Court is faced with determining the constitutionality of Part A of New York’s COVID Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (“CEEFPA”), which allows tenants to declare financial hardship without providing additional proof. The Court Order enjoins enforcement of Part A of CEEFPA, with the court reasoning that “if a tenant self-certifies financial hardship, the law generally precludes a landlord from contesting that certification and denies the landlord a hearing … and, this scheme violates the Court’s longstanding teaching that ordinarily ‘no man can be a judge in his own case’ consistent with the Due Process Clause.”
Although the injunctive relief granted by the Court is only temporary considering that all appeals have not been exhausted, it is still a win for landlords. It is not clear as to whether the Court’s decision will have any real impact given the state of the New York Housing Courts that have more than a year’s worth of cases that have been backlogged due to the pandemic. Moreover, the eviction moratorium is set to expire on August 31, 2021, and landlords will be able to proceed against tenants as they did before March 2020.
For more information, please contact Brian Markowitz with any questions you may have.