Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alert

Eviction Protections

The NYS COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (CEEFPA) has been amended and extended. Tenants who are experiencing financial challenges due to COVID-19 or for whom moving would pose a risk can prevent eviction until at least January 15, 2022 if they sign and deliver a Hardship Declaration form to their landlord, to a representative of their landlord, or to their local Housing Court.  

The Hardship Declaration form is available online in multiple languages. Note that you are responsible for completing the Hardship Declaration truthfully. You should take a photo or make a copy of your signed declaration before submitting it.

Get a copy of the Hardship Declaration form.

Hardship Declaration Eligibility

You can submit a Hardship Declaration if, due to COVID-19, you have faced one or more of the following challenges: 

  • You have lost significant household income 
  • You have increased expenses related to health impacts or essential work 
  • Childcare or other family care expenses during the pandemic have negatively affected your finances 
  • You have been unable to obtain meaningful employment because of circumstances relating to COVID-19 
  • You cannot afford to move or would have difficulty securing alternative housing  
  • Vacating and moving would pose a significant health risk to you or a member of your household due to age (over 65 years old), disability status, or an underlying medical condition

After Submitting a Hardship Declaration

A Hardship Declaration protects you, whether or not a warrant of eviction was issued against you. You may even provide the Hardship Declaration to the officer charged with evicting you.  

A Hardship Declaration protects from eviction for most reasons, including for not paying rent. A Hardship Declaration does not protect you from eviction for causing an ongoing nuisance condition to other tenants or for posing a substantial danger to the safety of others. 

Note: Your landlord can challenge your hardship declaration in court. If this happens, you have a right to a hearing where the court will consider your claim of hardship. You also may be eligible for free legal services through the City’s Right to Counsel Program. 

If the court finds your hardship claim to be valid, your eviction case will be postponed until at least January 15, 2022. If the court does not find your hardship claim to be valid, then your case can move forward and might lead to an eviction. However, you can still fight your case in court, and you cannot be evicted until a judge signs an order allowing the eviction to happen. 

Other Protections from Eviction

  • Tenants who file an application for rent assistance with the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) will have their eviction case stayed (paused) until their application is reviewed and decided by NYS. Additional protections in eviction proceedings for non-payment of rent will apply to tenants whose applications are approved, and landlords who accept ERAP payments are also restricted from evicting for an expired lease or holdover for a year after the first ERAP payment. To learn more and apply go to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) page. 
  • Tenants who can prove that they had financial hardship between March 7, 2020 and January 15, 2022 may have a defense in court to eviction for non-payment of rent owed during that period, under the NYS Tenant Safe Harbor Act as amended.

You cannot be evicted for nonpayment or any other reason unless the court has issued a Warrant of Eviction. Only a Marshal or Sheriff can carry out a warrant and remove tenants from their home. Landlords cannot lock out tenants. 

Pre-COVID Eviction Cases 

If you received an eviction notice before March 16, 2020, your landlord must file a motion and get permission from the housing court to evict you.  

If you are facing an eviction case that was filed on or before March 16, 2020, the case may proceed only if the Housing Court holds a status or settlement conference with the parties. 

Nonpayment Eviction Cases 

Tenants who have not yet answered a nonpayment petition filed against them must file an answer with the court. Failure to answer an eviction petition could lead to a default judgment against a tenant, which can lead to eviction. A tenant who receives a petition for a Housing Court eviction case does not need to go to the courthouse to respond in person.  

If you are in an immediate housing crisis or need eviction prevention services, please visit the Eviction Prevention and HomeBase page. 

Get Help 

If you have questions about the eviction moratorium eviction protections or other legal issues, you can contact the City’s Tenant Helpline. The Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) and the Mayor's Public Engagement Unit (PEU) can help you with questions about your tenancy and connect you with free legal assistance through the Human Resources Administration’s Office of Civil Justice. 

You can receive free legal services under the City’s Right-to-Counsel law if you: 

  • Are facing eviction in Housing Court or a NYCHA administrative proceeding, or  
  • Received an eviction petition, a warrant of eviction, or other Housing Court papers, or 
  • Received a notice that your eviction case is scheduled for a conference 

The Right to Counsel program, also known as Universal Access to Counsel, is now available citywide. 

To learn more, go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Tenants page.

You can get a lawyer referral, learn about free legal services, and get answers to questions about the law and courts. 

The City's Office of Civil Justice (OCJ), a unit of the Human Resources Administration (HRA), provides a range of free legal services to New Yorkers in need. If you are facing eviction, if you need help with an immigration matter, if you are a worker facing wage theft or other workplace violations, or if you are facing other legal challenges, you may have access to free legal assistance through OCJ.

OCJ legal services are free and you do not have to be an existing HRA client to apply.

Legal services are available regardless of immigration status.

If you are facing eviction in Housing Court or a NYCHA administrative proceeding, you may be eligible for free legal services under the City's Right-to-Counsel law. The Right to Counsel program, also known as Universal Access to Counsel, is now available citywide. To find out if you are eligible for this program, contact the City's Tenant Helpline. For more information, go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Tenants page.

Online

Learn more about OCJ and free legal services.

Email

civiljustice@hra.nyc.gov

By contacting the New York City Bar Legal Referral Service (LRS), you can speak with one of their attorney referral counselors, receive legal information and, if appropriate, be referred to screened and qualified lawyers who charge for their services.

If you are referred to a lawyer, your initial consultation will be free and last up to 30 minutes. 

Callers are referred to participating lawyers in a wide variety of areas, including:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Business & Corporate Law
  • Consumer Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Debts & Debt Collection
  • Employment & Labor Law
  • Family Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Landlord–Tenant
  • Malpractice
  • Personal Injury & Accidents
  • Real Property Law
  • Wills, Trusts & Estates
  • Workers’ Compensation

Online

Request a referral to a lawyer from the New York City Bar in English or Spanish.

Learn about the process of hiring and working with a lawyer.

Get free legal advice from LawHelp.

Search an online database to find out if an attorney is in good standing.

By Phone

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To learn about other kinds of help for immigrants, visit the Immigration and Citizenship page.

Community-based organizations provide seniors age 60 and older with legal assistance.

Use Site Finder to search for a Legal Service Provider.

If you are a tenant, the Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) can help you with questions about your tenancy and connect you with free legal assistance through the Human Resources Administration’s Office of Civil Justice. To learn more, go to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Tenants page.

You may also want to get help for specific situations. Visit the Eviction Prevention and HomeBase or Tenant Harassment page if needed.

Veterans can get free legal assistance and referrals by phone.

Veterans can also get help with discharge upgrades, disability claims, and benefits.

Call 311 for assistance.

A living will is a legal document created by an attorney that specifies your health care instructions. This document may also appoint a health care representative to make health care decisions on your behalf.

A health care proxy is a trusted person you select to make health care decisions for you. To learn more, visit the Health Care Proxy page.