To all NYSSA Members,
This message is to make you aware that Governor Cuomo, on May 7th, issued Executive Order No. 202.28. This order contains a couple of provisions that may have impact on self-storage operators. The provisions in question are as follows:
· “…no landlord, lessor, sub-lessor or grantor shall demand or be entitled to any payment, fee or charge for late payment of rent occurring during the time period from March 20, 2020, through August 20, 2020;”
· “There shall be no initiation of a proceeding or enforcement of either an eviction of any residential or commercial tenant, for nonpayment of rent, or a foreclosure of any residential or commercial mortgage, for nonpayment of such mortgage, owned or rented by someone that is eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law or otherwise facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic for a period of sixty days beginning on June 20, 2020.”
The first provision, regarding late fee charges, does not appear to apply to self-storage occupancy agreements. Applicability of the second provision, regarding evictions, is less clear. It’s also not clear whether the prohibition on evictions is intended, in spirit, to apply to lien enforcement sales that result from nonpayment of rent because of financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because there is a lack of clarity, NYSSA urges self-storage owners and operators to exercise caution in proceeding with the application of late fees and the conducting of lien sales during this period. These actions might lead to legal pitfalls, both in the short term by adverse court rulings and/or Attorney General intervention and in the long term by more specific, more harmful future legislation. As always, we encourage owners and operators to obtain professional legal advice for their planned actions.