NEW YORK – New York’s Attorney General is issuing a stern warning to landlords reminding them that they cannot raise rents if they accepted, or plan to accept, pandemic assistance funding.
AG Letitia James is referring to the state’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was recently expanded in the state’s budget.
Landlords who accept payments from the program, she says, are prohibited from raising rents for a year after they receive the funds.
“The rules are clear: Landlords who accept ERAP payments cannot raise rents for 12 months,” said Attorney General James. “This program was created to support struggling tenants and 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 program provides support to low- and moderate-income tenants across the state who could not pay rent during the pandemic.
Since the state started accepting applications in June 2021, it has provided hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers with financial support to pay off back rent.
Landlords who accept payments agreed:
- Not to increase the monthly rental amount for one year from receipt of the ERAP payment;
- To waive any late fees due on any rental arrears covered by the ERAP payment; and
- Not to evict ERAP recipients when their lease expires. This does not apply if the apartment is in a building of four or fewer units and the property owner or owner’s immediate family members intend to immediately occupy the unit for use as a primary residence.