Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in New York. While providing relief for tenants has meant landlords have been severely hampered trying to collect rent and many times affecting them paying their own mortgages.

WIVB-TV reports Western New York too has been operating under that statewide pause order since last year, closing courts to evictions against tenants and at the same time bank foreclosures against local landlords.

That moratorium, under state law, remains in effect until May 1, but tenants have to show proof they are unable to pay the rent.

“Which indicates either they have experienced a financial hardship, or moving would create a health-related hardship.” according to Grace Andriette from Neighborhood Legal Services.

 

Housing Justice for All is going to be circulating door hangers locally in an attempt to help nervous renters understand what they have to do to avoid eviction.

Harper Bishop from Push Buffalo tells us...

“Here is a piece of literature, ‘Housing Justice for All,’ it is going from door-to-door, and we want to make sure that people know how to fill out this form which will automatically send notice to their landlord and the court to show that folks are eligible for protection.”

 

The intended purpose of the Hardship Declaration is to freeze most tenant evictions until May 1, but a growing number of landlords,  are not waiting.

“This has gone on now for almost eleven months now, and you have people who have not been able to pay mortgages. They have used every nickel of reserves that they have,” said landlord attorney Loran Bommer.

Some landlords have resorted to illegally putting tenants out themselves.

Andriette says those landlords who remove tenants using something called "self-help", can be charged with misdemeanors.

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