Orange County landlord forced to work double shifts due to state's freeze on tenant evictions

Diza Montero, of New Windsor, says she and her husband have been working double shifts to pay for two households since her tenants stopped paying rent in December.

News 12 Staff

Jul 22, 2020, 9:32 PM

Updated 1,402 days ago

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An Orange County landlord is struggling to get by since New York froze evictions at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diza Montero, of New Windsor, says she and her husband have been working double shifts to pay for two households since her tenants stopped paying rent in December. 
"In January, we tried to cover the mortgage on that home," says Montero. "We were not able to so, we had a missed payment."
Montero leases her townhouse to a couple in Chester and has had no contact or payment from her tenants. Montero says the woman's number has been changed and the other tenant doesn't answer his phone.
Montero had a court date for eviction in March, but the pandemic hit and the state enacted the Tenant Safe Harbor Act. Montero says she is in debt and at risk of losing her investment.
The moratorium on evictions ends Aug. 20, but even then it might be difficult for landlords to get before a judge with courts only partially reopened and backlogged.  
"If you can prove it's not COVID-related, then we should be able to proceed with evictions," says Montero. "Otherwise, we're just being taken advantage of."
A spokesperson for the 9th Judicial District, which covers Chester, says landlords should consult their attorneys and ultimately they need to wait for courts to fully reopen.
The Village of Chester court remains closed for all proceedings, and officials there say it's not clear when cases will resume.


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