New York landlords get big win in Supreme Court eviction decision

Washington DC – The conservative Supreme Court justices outweighed the liberals yet again to deliver a blow to New York renters.

New York landlords will now be able to challenge tenants' self-certification of financial hardship in court, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
New York landlords will now be able to challenge tenants' self-certification of financial hardship in court, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.  © IMAGO / Levine-Roberts

On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued an emergency order partially blocking a New York law designed to protect tenants from eviction during the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reported.

The COVID Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act, passed in 2020, permits New York renters to self-certify their own financial hardship during the pandemic. They are then not subject to eviction.

Landlords argued that their own inability to challenge self-certification in court violates their rights.

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The conservative justices agreed, writing, "This scheme violates the Court’s longstanding teaching that ordinarily 'no man can be a judge in his own case' consistent with the Due Process Clause."

The law was already set to expire at the end of the month, but its earlier gutting could now result in more evictions in a time of need, the three liberal justices countered.

Still, it's unclear what real impact the decision will have on New York tenants, especially considering the federal eviction moratorium was recently extended for another two months.

A group of landlords and real estate companies has already banded together to challenge the temporary federal evictions ban.

Cover photo: IMAGO / Levine-Roberts

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