James reminds renters that protections remain in place
Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics New York Attorney General Letitia James issued an advisory Mon., Aprl 18, reminding landlords that they cannot raise rents if they accept or plan to accept funding from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. James' advice comes after state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul fortified the program with $800 million in replenished funds as part of the $220 billion state budget agreement. James said, “The rules are clear: Landlords who accept ERAP payments cannot raise rents for 12 months. This program was created to support struggling tenants and to keep New Yorkers in their homes during the pandemic. Landlords who accepted payments from the state yet are still raising rents are double dipping and breaking the law. I urge any tenant who accepted ERAP payments and received a new lease with rent increases from their landlord to contact my office." The state so far has distributed $2.1 billion in federal funding for renters behind on their rent, impacting 160,000 low and moderate-income households statewide. Landlords must also waive any late fees due on rental arrears covered by a payment from ERAP. At the same time, they cannot evict recipients of ERAP funding when their lease expires. The budget also included $125 million for the Landlord Rental Assistance Program for property owners whose tenants have not applied for aid. So far, the state has paid out 15,000 payments of more than $160 million for landlords. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.