Emergency Rental Assistance Program (“ERAP”) is an economic relief program that was established to help eligible applicants, who have a primary residence in New York State and are requesting assistance for rental and utility arrears due to COVID-19. The application process can be initiated by either landlords or tenants.
When an application is initiated the non-initiating party will then receive a notification and be asked to complete the required information. Landlords, whether they initiate the application or not, will be required to submit the following documentation: a completed W-9; an executed lease or if there is not a written lease evidence such as a canceled check showing the last full monthly rent payment; documentation of rent due; and banking information.
Upon submission of the required documentation, the landlord will be required to sign the application and certifications, attesting the information provided is correct. In the event a landlord does not provide the information needed to disburse payment through ERAP, the funds that would be disbursed are set aside for a minimum period of one hundred eighty (180) days to allow for submission of the requested documentation.
If after the one hundred eighty (180) days expire, the landlord still has not submitted the documents, the funds may be reallocated to another household. Furthermore, the tenant may use the provisional determination as an affirmative defense in any proceeding brought by the landlord based on either non-payment of rent or seeking a money judgment during the subsequent year.
The anticipated processing time for applications is between four (4) and six (6) weeks. We also wish to call your attention to the fact that even proceedings brought for a holdover tenant or expired lease that would be eligible for coverage under ERAP cannot be commenced against anyone who has applied for ERAP unless or until the applicant is deemed ineligible. If proceedings are commenced against an individual, who has applied for ERAP, the proceedings are stayed while the application is under review. The attorneys at Mackey Butts & Wise, LLP are here to assist our clients with any and all questions related to ERAP.