May 15, 2020
New York Gov Andrew Cuomo last week announced no evictions until August 20th to help unemployed renters keep a roof over their head. But where does that leave landlords?
Peter Regnier says he gets the need to help out renters. The Clinton County landlord is helping out by taking money off rent, but he can’t do that forever and says they state needs to help out property owners too. “We’re down quite a bit, obviously,” he said.
Regnier owns five rental properties in Clinton County. When his properties are full, that’s over 20 tenants. “I went to each and every one one of them and asked them honestly if they needed relief,” Regnier said. He is taking 25 percent off rent for those who need it until July and while most tenants are grateful, he says others are trying to take advantage of the Cuomo’s no eviction order.
“Good tenants — you want to keep them,” Regnier said. “I would guess 85 to 90 percent of the people who need that relief absolutely have to have it — there is no doubt in my mind. But just like anything else, there are people who will wrongly take advantage of the system.”
Housing advocates like Tara Glynn at the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York say any relief for renters is welcomed. “The saving grace of all this is to not make people homeless. It’s not that we’re heartless to landlords and what they are going through or anyone else, but we would hate to see people losing their homes over this global pandemic,” she said.