Port Jervis News...

Issue 32— March 4, 2021

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Challenges Ahead After Eviction Moratorium


PORT JERVIS — Several Port Jervis landlords have expressed frustration with the eviction moratorium that was extended until May 1, after first being set to end on Jan. 1. Although several landlords said they were having no problems with tenants, others say they have tenants who are behind with payments, some without explanations.
Joan O'Leary, who has 54 rental properties, said that half owe $500-$1,000 or are late with rent, and a few owe several thousand dollars. Karan Garewal, a Mount Kisco realtor, says that 20% of his tenants have stopped paying rent without explanation. Although he declined to say how many Port Jervis properties he has, at the last city tax lien sale, he outbid others to acquire a majority of the liens, as he has done previously.
Ruben Hendley has five two- to three-family Port Jervis houses, and six tenants have stopped paying rent, so they owe him $64,000. Some tenants work full time, but others were receiving welfare assistance when they moved in, he said.
"The worst ones realize they don't have to pay, so they don't," said Hendley, noting that he has reported indications of drug sales and child abuse to police. "Nothing happened," he said.
"Quite a few landlords will have to proceed with evictions. I know five or six with tenants not paying, some taking advantage because there are no evictions," said Vern Lazaroff, a Port Jervis attorney who often handles tenant issues. "But I don't expect a tsunami of evictions. Most tenants are paying rent. I expect less than 50 evictions. But each is a tragedy."
He predicted that many tenants who are behind in their rent would file for bankruptcy. If they file before an eviction judgment has been entered, they can take three to five years to catch up on their rent, Lazaroff said. Whatever their reasons for not paying rent, the money will be due after the moratorium....For more information subscribe to our paper.