New York Article

Unpaid Landlords Say They Can’t Pay Their Bills —Or Get New Tenants

Unpaid Landlords Say They Can’t Pay Their Bills —Or Get New Tenants

Newsday’s Sarah Trangle reports on the hardship being felt by some property owners.

A moratorium on evictions is forcing small landlords on Long Island to run up credit card balances, take out loans and default on their own bills.

Sheriffs on the Island haven’t carried out residential evictions since March, when the state began curtailing court activity in the early days of COVID-19.

With the virus straining many industries, thousands of Long Islanders have lost jobs and are struggling with basic expenses like rent. The government passed policies and bolstered benefits designed to protect renters. Only a fraction of that relief has reached landlords, and some small property owners are reeling.

‘You don’t have a lot of cushion’

“If you are relying on the extra thousand or $1,500 a month from renting out a finished basement or attic, and that suddenly goes away because your tenant can’t afford to pay, you don’t have a lot of cushion,” said Lawrence Levy, executive dean at the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University. “When something goes south [for] them, it hits very quickly, very hard.”

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