Some city landlords are fuming at an announcement from New York City Marshal Richard McCoy today that all evictions remain suspended through this week as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and that “no target date” has been set for evictions to resume.
“I regret to inform you that evictions still remain suspended until further notices,” states a letter issued by Mr. McCoy. “The city believes that the unprecedented damage, disruption, and impact of the Hurricane Sandy’s disaster upon the City of New York continues, including thousands of persons, with special needs who require shelter and other financial needs.”
New York City Marshals are appointed by the Mayor to physically carry out evictions, supervising the removal of tenants’ belongings and making sure entry locks are changed.
“Currently there is no target date and until we have been informed of such, no eviction dates will be provided (not even a tentative date),” the letter goes on.
While landlords told The Commercial Observer that perhaps the move was well-intentioned, they said they had hoped that the moratorium on evictions would have been lifted by now, as things get back to normal for most New Yorkers.
“That kind of sucks for all the city’s landlords,” said one city property owner who did not wish to be identified. “It sucks sh*t.”
Though one landlord said that an informal moratorium has been in place on evictions during the month of December for years, another said he would not hesitate to evict people as the holiday season rolls around as the rule was “not in the books.”
“Just like tenants expect us to provide services, we expect them to pay us so that we can provide those services,” the owner of multiple multi-family properties said.
“Ultimately New York City, certainly the court system, is biased in favor of tenants, and this is just another bit of proof of that,” he went on. “While this is meant for those in dire need after Hurricane Sandy, you have a very large number of people who are taking advantage and not paying rents.”
But, he added, “It’s just another cost of doing business.”
Tenant rights groups agreed with the decision.
“To move forward with evictions at this time would be quite ridiculous,” said Damaris Reyes, executive director with Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), a tenant rights advocacy group. “Everyone has to pitch in to do their part after this devastating event. If that means a few landlords have to pitch in, then so be it.”
“It never ceases to amaze me how the haves treat the have-nots,” she added.
The full letter from the city marshal read as follows:
Unfortunately, I regret to inform you that evictions still remain suspended until further notices. There will be no evictions scheduled for this week. The city believes that the unprecedented damage , disruption, and impact of the Hurricane Sandy’s disaster upon the City of New York continues, including thousands of persons, with special needs who require shelter and other financial needs.
Power outages, disruption of fuel, transportation, and telecommunication services also continue. In sum, the City of New York is still responding to a major disaster and widespread emergency conditions.
According to the City of New York, they will continue to monitor the situation and will advise us as to when we are able to proceed with evictions. Currently there is no target date and until we have been informed of such, no eviction dates will be provided (not even a tentative date).
I truly apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused, and please understand that this is beyond our control. I am sure that the city is doing the best they can to accommodate everyone, and I will notify everyone as soon as we are given the okay to proceed with evictions.
Until such notice is received, we ask that you please be patient and bare with us because we know that this has been a very difficult time for everyone, and we are all anxious to resume business.
Again I do apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused your business, and I thank you for your time, understanding, and cooperation on this matter. Please feel free to contact me at the above address and or phone number if you have any further questions.