Landlord Can Seek Additional Rent Arrears After ERAP Pays Partial Amount

LVT Number: #32011

Landlord commenced an eviction proceeding in September 2020, which was stayed first by the eviction moratorium, and then as a result of tenant's ERAP application filed in June 2021. In February 2022, landlord asked the court to vacate the ERAP stay. While the request was pending, ERAP deposited payment to landlord "under protest" of 15 months of rent arrears.
Landlord commenced an eviction proceeding in September 2020, which was stayed first by the eviction moratorium, and then as a result of tenant's ERAP application filed in June 2021. In February 2022, landlord asked the court to vacate the ERAP stay. While the request was pending, ERAP deposited payment to landlord "under protest" of 15 months of rent arrears. But nine months of rent arrears remained unpaid and that court addressed whether acceptance by landlord of the partial payment constituted a waiver as to the remaining rent arrears.
 
The court ruled for landlord, finding that to interpret the ERAP statute to mean that the landlord was waiving other rent due would result in an "impairment of private contracts," in violation of the landlord's constitutional rights. So, the court vacated the ERAP stay and ruled that tenant must pay the remaining arrears by May 1, 2022, or face a money judgment and judgment of possession for landlord.
 
 
Barton v. Bixler: Index No. LT-156-20, 2022 NY Slip Op 50228(U) (Dist. Ct. Suffolk; 3/30/22; Hackling, J)