Jul 17, 2021 318.8K Views 3.6K Comments

Covid hardship isn’t just affecting renters, It’s affecting mom and pop landlords in New York City. Join me as we talk to a family struggling from a lack of income due to an employed tenant who is legally protected from paying rent.

Good morning, guys
Here in New York City
We have a very interesting story to get into today
So, there’s been a…
eviction moratorium put in place
due to the pandemic
So basically, tenants have been able
to live in an apartment or home
without paying rent
if they’ve gone through hardships
due to the pandemic
Now, for some people
this has been necessary
and is honest
but for others…
they’re milking the system
So, today we’re gonna get into
more of the untold story
the story of
the landlords
what they’re dealing with
especially the small ones
who make an income from this
They still have to pay their mortgage
they still have to pay taxes
yet, they can’t take in rent
We’re gonna talk to some landlords
We’re gonna talk to some lawyers
and hopefully
we’re gonna get talk to some tenants
to get a better understanding of the situation
So, tell us what’s going on
You’re a real estate lawyer?
I’m a real estate lawyer
I practice landlord-tenant law
mostly representing commercial landlords
Residential and…
Residential and commercial
So, what’s going on?
I’m more focused on the
residential side for this video
but what’s going on currently?
Can you give us the nuts and bolts
let’s say, of this moratorium?
It’s a new world for me
for most of my audience
So, right now in New York
there’s an eviction moratorium
for anyone facing a COVID hardship
If you fill out a little document
that says that you’ve been impacted by COVID
nobody checks, nobody’s looking
you don’t have to prove anything
You are exempt from eviction
I can’t start a case against you
If there’s a case already
that’s been started
that case is what’s called “stayed”
You can’t move forward on it
So, let’s say
you’ve worked your whole life
you’ve bought a building
you rented it out
March 2020 comes
your tenants stop paying rent
Say, “Okay, couple months,” right?
May 2020 comes
still haven’t paid rent
Your mortgage payments are still due
your taxes are still due
The taxes are still due?
But your tenants aren’t paying rent
They’re being told
“Don’t worry”
“Landlords can’t commence cases”
“You guys are good”
September 2020 comes
still no rent
May 2021
still no rent
It’s been 15 months
since you’ve gotten the rent
What percentage of people really need it
and what percentage are milking the system
would you think?
It’s a good question, right?
Or it’s hard to know?
Because you can’t qualify
for the governmental assistance
if you paid your rent
So, they’re kinda rewarding bad behavior
The only way you can get the grant
is if you didn’t pay
So, even if I can show a hardship
I lost my job
if I paid my rent
I’m out
You’re doing court completely online right now?
Court is completely online
this is the commercial part
This case was on for a hearing
It’s a restaurant that…
The case is from 2019
They have not paid rent
2018, 2019…
2019 this case was in court
we did a payment plan with them
Assuming they abide by the payment plan
we’re more than happy to keep them
If they didn’t abide by the payment plan
then the marshal will come
and serve marshal’s notice
Back in 2019
they didn’t abide by the payment plan
We moved to serve marshal’s notice
They came in to court and said
“Don’t evict us, don’t evict us, we’ll pay”
Pandemic happened
Our court case didn’t get heard
It’s now
June 17, 2021
More than probably 2 years
since the commencement of this case
They owe over $100,000
This was on for a hearing
last week as to whether I can
you know, enforce my warrant
and yesterday I got a
hardship declaration from them
They’re saying “COVID” but there was
a problem before COVID
There was a problem in 2018
Are they still running the restaurant right now?
They’re still there
Restaurant’s open
It was open during the whole pandemic for takeout
Now, I’m not saying they weren’t impacted
And I’m not saying we even want to evict them
But this isn’t a big landlord
It’s two brothers that own this commercial property
It’s a lot of money
These are all attorneys
waiting for their cases to be called
Yeah, I’m here
Judge is there
and you can see he’s like in a virtual background
It’s like not a real background
The judge, the lower right?
This is the judge
This was on for a hearing and
a hardship declaration was filed that day
I mean…
There’s not much I could say, right?
It’s permitted but is it…
you know, it’s not really fair, right?
Respondent said on the last court appearance
that the business was doing better
and now we got a hardship declaration
We’re not looking to evict anybody
but we’re looking to get paid, that’s it
Thank you, Judge
He just gave you a great speech
But that’s exactly the point, right?
And the judge
he understands the issue
and it’s not fair
but by law
there’s nothing that he can do
Say, if you’re gonna get a rental property
you would say get one in New Jersey?
Is it different over there?
Go to Florida, go to Jersey
Virginia, I heard is good
I mean, save New York for big landlords
who can afford to
you know, subsidize
tenants not paying
This is another case
of the small guy getting squashed
The big guy, like you just said
he can weather the storm
For the most part
I mean, the real big guys
But it’s coming to an end for them too, right?
I have a building right now
where the tenants haven’t paid rent
in over a year
It’s a lot… even for big guys it’t a lot of money
I have a commercial tenant in Harlem
who owes $2,000,000
I don’t care who you are, that’s a lot of money
So, it’s impacting everybody
but the small guys aren’t gonna survive
I don’t think so
Sort of the story of the pandemic, right?
Amazon accelerates
Mom-and-pop gets smoked
Let’s get out to some places
I’m gonna to uh…
Elan’s picking me up, right?
Alright, guys, we’re gonna go out
We’re actually gonna go to Queens
and uh…
check out first hand what the situation is like
I put a face to the voice
How are you doing?
Nice to finally meet you
Nice to meet you, yeah
So, I’ve arranged to uh…
to introduce you to two landlords
where we’re currently in litigation
The people you’re meeting today
they’re both smaller landlords
2, 3, 4-family homes
Both the landlords are living in one of the units
together with
tenants in the other units
Among all the boroughs in New York
Queens is known for
predominantly 2, 3, 4-family homes
These are smaller, more intimate settings
for apartment
relationships between landlords and tenants
The landlord lives on one floor
and the second floor has its own entrance
There’s a tenant up there
Sometimes, you’ll have a landlord that’s
renting out a basement
So, these aren’t the big institutional investors?
These are not big institutions
These are small family investments
They rely on these little properties
for their future retirement or
to pay off kids college funds
So, did you see that back there?
There’s a sign that says, “We buy homes for cash”
Is there a lot of that going on?
There’s a lot of that throughout the city
and, you know, the moratorium
is ending on August 31st
We are not aware of it
being extended yet again
but assuming it is not extended
starting September evictions continue
foreclosures continue
And I think, we’re gonna see more
“Cash for keys” signs
we’re gonna see more signs that
we buy houses all cash
and it’s going to be really directly
because so many people fell behind
on their mortgages
weren’t able to pay pay down their debts
and collect their rents
to keep their properties above water
Do I gotta be stealthy here
or can I come in with you?
I’m gonna give them a call
and see whatever they prefer
You can uh…
manage it
We’re talking to the landlord, right? First?
We’re gonna speak to the landlord
and their family first
Catherine’s mom?
Very nice to meet you
Can I just open up?
Hold on there
Okay, hold on
Julietta, you’re the the owner of this place?
I am, yeah
The whole building?
No, just this side
Just this side?
I’m Moses, pleased to meet you
Moses, nice to meet you
So, how long have you lived out here for?
Uh… 10 years
We’re so happy here
We just want to live in peace
Oh, you got a Jacuzzi back here?
Haha, yes, it’s like a jacuzzi, yeah
That’s cool
Need some water in there
Of course, yeah
It’s new, huh?
You redid it?
The story started with uh…
before the pandemic
We were planning to
We were planning to rent that room
so we can have more money to pay our mortgage
So, this person came
and um…
at the beginning
he started to
like abuse us
because he’s like a…
What is that… sociopad?
Something like that?
Yeah, he’s like that
Is he gonna come out here
with a baseball bat or…?
Is he gonna come outside with a baseball bat?
No, he just left
We call the police like 3 times already
4 times already because…
He discussed with the police
that the 2nd time, you know…
He’s no easy guy
We’re scared about him
We’re scared about be safe
It’s too much abuse
And also he has no respect for my daughter
for my wife
even for me
No respect at all
So, he doesn’t care what happened
He’s very selfish man
He’s not paying attention
So, he is smoking marijuana
All the time
Like crazy
So, he’s smoking there
so the smokes goes upstairs
We have to sit down and smoke with him
also at the same time
These things are affecting us emotionally
and also physical because
we don’t smoke marijuana
Okay, so walk us through that don’t know
because I… I’m gonna sit next to you
I honestly didn’t know this
until these guys reached out to me
I had no idea what’s going on
I don’t think most people know what’s going on
So, what happened was that there’s a…
moratorium on evictions, right? Because of COVID
But the small mom-and-pop landlords
that you saved your money
you’re paying a mortgage
It’s not like you’re rich
if you were, you wouldn’t have tenants here
And now you’re put in a position
where you can’t…
you can’t collect the rent
And you can’t do anything about it, right?
I cannot do anything about it
Because he’s not paying rent at all
He’s coming like owns the house
And now he’s coming with a company
Before he was alone
now he’s coming with somebody else
Every day, every day
Now it’s everyday
and he has no respect for us
he doesn’t care, so…
This is our…
Belongs to my daughters
My daughter lives at the basement
Did you make the add-on?
Oh, yes
Did you do this? Okay, nice
Alright, guys
So, you can see there’s a basement unit
where the daughter lives
The tenant is above the daughter
and then Moses and Juliet live above here
We’re gonna go up there, right?
Okay, we can go now
All good?
The attack dogs are downstairs?
After you
Thank you
Thank you, oh my God
I know, we sent a lot of staff to you, oh my God
We’re so desperate with this situation
we’re so desperate
Our dream home
We’ve been saving every penny
to buy the house
We were dreaming this
We were so happy when we got the keys
and open the door and said this is our dream
American dream
and now it’s like a nightmare
with this person in here
Where are you from originally?
We came here uh…
like 42 years ago
42 years…
Working so hard for everything
because we came here to work
to work, to plan our future
our daughters’ and all that stuff
and um…
we come with this situation, so…
This makes us…
our life difficult, very difficult
We are the peaceful family
We like to be in harmony
We like to be together
No problems
but this man is causing problems to us
There’s no payment for 14 months
14 months already
He owns us $14,000
So you…
he doesn’t pay rent
but you have to pay your mortgage?
Exactly, and the bills
the electricity, the water
because he brings a lot of company here so
we have to pay for the bills
You have to pay for his bills?
Yes, yes
We have to pay for his utilities
Because he doesn’t pay nothing
You pay taxes to the government, right?
Property taxes?
Of course
We do it every year
We pay taxes, we pay everything
So, we have to get money
from I don’t know where because
I’m not working, I have only 2 days working
because the job is low and he…
And I’m not working right now
Let me explain to him
because of this problem he had a small…
Because of the the problem in the house?
Too much stress
Kathy, my daughter has to to work like
50-53 hours a week so she can help us
She lives in the basement
Mm hmm
She has her room there
and when he knows that she’s there
he’s starting to make a lot of noise
and he dumped his weights
and he walks very loud
he do a lot of noise
with the ladies there
he doesn’t respect my daughter
because he lives (below) our room too
Does he work?
He has two jobs
So he’s making money?
He’s making money
He has two jobs, yes
He has one in the morning and one at night
Because I know his schedule
he comes at like 5:00-5:30 pm
so he gets dressed and he goes
So he’s making money, doesn’t have to pay the rent
How do you feel about the system now?
You came from another country
Like, what are your thoughts?
The system is good and no good
Why is good, because it’s helping
people that cannot afford
to pay their rent because of the pandemic
But some people are abusing the system
How come
the government
cover the criminals?
Cus he’s a criminal
Whatever he’s doing right now
is criminal
because he abuses us
because we are old people
Well… we are old people
so he thinks that we cannot do nothing to him
Who’s helping me?
Tell me, who’s helping me to
to fix this situation?
Who’s helping us?
What happened?
I don’t know why… This is so wrong
This is so wrong
Because if they find a help to pay their rent
why don’t they help us to pay the mortgage?
The bank expects it from you
Yeah, yeah
Government expects the tax
Imagine that?
It’s insanity
It’s unbelievable that it even exists right now
This is crazy, this is crazy
I know the government is helping
and is doing too much
I mean, it’s helping too
But we don’t get that help
because this man doesn’t care to
fill out the application
to get that money from the government
This is beautiful country
I am happy to live in this country
My daughters grew up in this country
So thanks for this country
We love this country
And we had help from this country
The thing is the rules
sometimes is not what we can understand
because it’s giving more time
to the lazy people
abusing the landlords
having two jobs
and because he’s collecting
money from unemployment
Yes, that’s true
He’s doing all that stuff
So he’s collecting from the unemployment
and he can pay the rent
I know he can cover the rent
He dresses up…
But he’s taking a chance from us
and from the government
He dresses up with the brand name stuff
We know that the sneakers that he wears
is worth like $700, something like that
Oh, yeah…
Because we need help
We are looking for the help
and we have a lawyer
and we put everything in his hands
and we are hoping everything
will be solved as soon as possible
Every single day since the pandemic
Like a 14 months already with this problem
Go to sleep with this problem in our mind, 24/7
We can’t sleep well like before
We called the police many times
They say
“If we don’t see blood”
“We cannot do nothing”
This is not fair
This is not fair
If they don’t see blood?
Blood, yeah
“If we don’t see blood, you…”
So, you have to attack him to get the police here?
Yeah, exactly
We have to be attacked by the tenant
so then the police can do something
There are a lot of people
going through this situation, you think?
A lot
A lot
Over here is where
the neighbors are dealing with this?
Which house?
This one?
The first floor is the tenant
and the landlord lives at the second floor
They are 73 years old
He obuses them a lot
It’s nine people living there
Nine people…
Nine people on the first floor
And we have only one
Can you imagine nine people?
Imagine that nine people living in the house
Thank you both so much
Thanks for speaking on camera
Oh, thank you, I feel much better now
And when he is here, I feel so much better now
The pressure will begin on the next week’s hearing
and uh…
somebody will finally hear your complaints
Thank you so much
I appreciate that and I hope we finish with this
You’ll manage, you’ll get through it
Pleased to meet you
Thank you so much, thank you, Moses
God bless you
God bless!
Stay strong
Have a wonderful day, thanks for coming
Thank you both
Thank you, bye-bye

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