1st of the month: What you need to know about rent, mortgage and property taxes

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Posted at 3:45 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 18:43:56-04

NEW YORK CITY — April 1 means the biggest payment most people make each month is due: their rent or mortgage payments.

Some who own property also may owe a quarterly property tax.

Lawmakers have taken a number of steps to try and make people at ease.

“You cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent, commercial or residential, for three months,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo emphasized. New York is one of several states with an eviction ban right now.

Some New York City leaders are also pushing for renters to be able to use security deposits to make payments, utility payment deferrals and other measures. However, as of March 31, these policies have not been enacted.

With some taking advantage of the eviction ban — and skipping rent payments — smaller landlords may find themselves in trouble. Many rely on rental income to support themselves or pay a mortgage.

So in addition to rent protection, New York and New Jersey have ordered banks to allow landlords and homeowners to defer mortgage payments. Essentially, according to the Housing Policy Council — which represents many of the big banks — people with mortgages will generally be allowed to enter an up to 90-day delay processes known as forbearance.

Forbearance normally negatively affects credit, but will not in this case. Payments will be added to the end of the loan. The HPC recommends contacting your individual lender to start the process because every lender does it slightly differently.

However, both the mortgage and rent relief kick the can down the road, according to Oksana Mironova, a housing policy analyst with the Community Service Society.

”What we need to see as the next step is some sort of rent relief or rent cancellation,” Mironva said. “What will happen is at the end of the 90-day period, we’re going to see a huge spike in evictions, which will be detrimental to low income New Yorkers in the city.”

New York’s budget would normally be the way permanent relief happens. But with the fiscal uncertainty because of the pandemic, Cuomo said it might have to wait.

“We will deal with it when we get to it,” Cuomo said Tuesday.

As for quarterly property taxes, many municipalities have payment deferral programs during times of hardship.

New York City in particular has several specific programs it is advising people to take advantage of during right now, which you can find by clicking here.