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Dinowitz to landlords: Please forgive rents for COVID-19 victims who can't pay

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If you're a homeowner and the bank still has an interest in your property, Gov. Andrew Cuomo saw to it that you won't have to worry about your mortgage for the next three months during the coronavirus crisis.

But what about those who pay rent? 

That's a question lawmakers seem to be sidestepping since the country was embraced by pandemic, but not one Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is willing to overlook.

Although he's stopping short of introducing legislation, Dinowitz appealing to what he describes as landlords' "sense of civic compassion" to consider waiving rents for at least a month for tenants who have lost significant income or revenue during the pandemic.

"I understand that this is not an insignificant expense," Dinowitz said in his Tuesday newsletter to constituents. "However, most landlords — especially larger ones) operate with enough capital to absorb this cost, not to mention that it would be written off on their taxes anyway." 

One thing that is protecting renters at this point is a moratorium Cuomo signed into law on evictions of both commercial and residential tenants, lasting until mid-June. However, while a landlord might not be able to evict based on not receiving rent, once that moratorium is lifted, a tenant would have to come up with back-rent, or face eviction. 

Dinowitz also wants the state to hold off on requiring vehicle owners to have to get safety and emissions inspections.  Although Dinowitz once again hasn't offered a bill that might help address such a request, he says his office is reaching out to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles with the hope it might extend those deadlines.

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