You are reading

Queens Senator Introduces Legislation That Aims to Protect Commercial Tenants From Personal Liability

Small Business Store Closing in College Point (Photo: Queens Post)

Feb. 26, 2021 By Christian Murray

A Queens state senator introduced legislation Thursday that aims to protect commercial tenants from personal liability if they unable to pay their rent due to COVID-19.

The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Mike Gianaris, aims to protect business owners who were forced to close due to the pandemic from personal liability.

Many leases come with personal liability provisions that hold business owners personally liable when they are not able to pay rent. Gianaris’ legislation suspends those clauses in leases for businesses that were shuttered due to government mandates related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and have suffered tremendously during the pandemic,” Gianaris said in a statement. “We must do what we can to keep these neighborhood institutions alive while we fight for federal and state relief these businesses deserve.”

Gianaris drafted the legislation after working with Kambri Crews, owner and operator of Q.E.D., a comedy and entertainment venue in Astoria, who has this type of lease.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to small businesses and the communities they serve but we are in the home stretch,” Gianaris said. “Personal liability protections will grant small business owners the confidence to focus on rebuilding businesses and communities without fear of utter financial ruination looming over them.”

The legislation expands on a bill written by Council Member Carlina Rivera and passed last year by the city council to protect commercial tenants. If passed this bill would kick in statewide.

“Small business owners put their heart and soul into their enterprises and our community depends on them,” Rivera said. “No one should fear a landlord going after their personal savings during this pandemic. I was proud to enact a law like this on the city level and I am pleased to support State. Sen. Gianaris as he leads this effort statewide.”

The bill is cosponsored by State Senators Samra Brouk, Andrew Gounardes and Robert Jackson. It is current in the Senate Judiciary committee.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force investigating vandalism at Forest Hills church that has been targeted in the past

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a case of criminal mischief at a Forest Hills house of worship in which a vandal threw a rock to intentionally damage its glass front door, according to authorities.

Police say that just before 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, police from the 112th Precinct were called to Grace Lutheran Church, located at 103-15 Union Tpke., after a man threw a rock and damaged the church’s front door.

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.