``No one knows for sure how many renters in New York City will have a hard time paying, but landlords and the real estate industry say they are bracing for perhaps as many as 40 percent of tenants, if not more, skipping their April payments.

... "I'm trying not to panic," said Christopher Athineos, whose family owns nine apartment buildings in Brooklyn with about 150 tenants. "In my lifetime and even my parents' and grandparents' lifetime, we have never seen anything like this."


Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has ordered a 90-day moratorium on evictions, a lifeline to people who cannot pay rent and are worried about losing their homes during the crisis. Other states have followed New York State's lead, including California, which introduced a 60-day ban on evictions.

But that doesn't wipe away that rent from having to be paid later on.


The current economic crisis has all the ingredients to cause a collapse in the New York City real estate market, said Joseph Strasburg, the president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords in New York City.

A significant drop in April rent payments would create an immediate domino effect and leave many landlords without enough money to pay their water and sewer bills for their properties, he said.

Rent payments could drop even more drastically in May, Mr. Strasburg s..

aid, when tenants who lost jobs in March may have even less money to pay that month's rent.


Some landlords have worked out payment plans with tenants, while others have said they cannot offer concessions because they face their own challenges.

Mr. Strasburg said landlords who have first-floor commercial tenants, such as restaurants, fear that those tenants too will not be paying rent in April. Landlord representatives said property owners also deserve a lifeline, including the option to defer utility payments and their property taxes.


The $2 trillion federal stimulus bill offers assistance specifically for renters and homeowners, though they are limited in most cases to people with federally backed or supported mortgages.

Comments: Be the first to add a comment

add a comment | go to forum thread