Tenant's Filing of Second ERAP Application Stayed Execution on Eviction Warrant
LVT Number: #31785
Landlord sued to evict tenant for nonpayment of rent. Initially, a judgment of possession and money judgment were entered in landlord's favor in January 2020. Execution on the eviction warrant was stayed until March 10, 2020. But the court closed for a while on March 17, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and no evictions could take place. In November 2020, in accordance with DRP 213, landlord made a motion seeking to execute on the warrant. The court placed the motion on its calendar in May 2021, and in June 2021 tenant filed a hardship declaration. Tenant also applied for rental assistance under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). In August 2021, ERAP approved $18,636 to cover tenant's arrears for April 2020 through March 2021.
Landlord then filed another motion in October 2021, seeking to vacate the ERAP stay, strike the hardship declaration, and execute upon the eviction warrant under DRP 217 and Ch. 417 of the Laws of 2021. In response, tenant withdrew his hardship declaration but sought a continued court stay because he had appealed the ERAP determination and filed a second ERAP application in November 2021. Tenant claimed that three more months of rent should've been approved. Landlord opposed tenant's claim and argued that most of tenant's rent arrears predated COVID and weren't eligible for coverage under ERAP.
But the court found that, had the legislature intended that only eligible applicants be granted a stay pending determination of the application, the statute would have so stated. The plain language of the ERAP statute clearly indicated that any pending application stays an eviction proceeding until an eligibility determination is made. So, execution on the eviction warrant was stayed by the court in light of tenant's ERAP application.
Sea Park E. LP v. Foster: Index No. 84971/19, 2021 NY Slip Op 21347 (Civ. Ct. NY; 12/10/21; Cohen, J)
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