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How is the ERAP stay to be applied? This is one judge's take

Issues related to tenant protections and programs relating to the COVID pandemic and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)

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How is the ERAP stay to be applied? This is one judge's take

Postby TenantNet » Tue Aug 09, 2022 4:20 am

How is the ERAP stay to be applied? This is one judge's take.

In a non-primary holdover proceeding, the landlord claimed the rent stabilized tenant is not using the apartment as her primary residence. Tenant answers claiming the landlord accepted ERAP funds in October 2021 (after the proceeding was commenced), and the proceeding must be dismissed. Landlord counters that the prohibition applies to only an actual eviction, not the non-primary holdover proceeding itself.

The court discusses at some length whether accepting ERAP funds applies to holdovers or nonpayments, whether the holdover is based on damage or conduct claims and whether the ERAP was filed before or after a court proceeding was filed.

The ride gets a bit bumpy here, and litigants would benefit from a flow chart explaining when and under what circumstances, either a non-payment or holdover proceeding may be brought, and what relief may be had in short order, or is stayed for 12 months after acceptance of ERAP funds.

If tenants see trouble brewing down the road, they should apply for ERAP as soon as they can. While one may not eventually have their rent covered by ERAP, the filing itself could create a stay and limit the landlord's options. At a minimum, a stay would allow a tenant time to get his/her house in order.

Tenants should also read carefully the reasoning behind court's decisions to allow the petition to be amended, the granting of Use and Occupancy (a way of ordering rent to be paid pending the outcome of the proceeding without actually calling it rent) when the tenant has not disputed the legal rent, and the granting of discovery (or, as we see it, prying into one's personal affairs).

See the Decision/Order here.

See the entire file at this address.
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