After housing and civil rights groups issued a plea for Gov. Steve Sisolak to protect tenants during the health crisis, the governor announced Sunday a statewide moratorium on evictions.
Sisolak is prohibiting landlords from throwing people out as well as preventing them from using intimidation tactics to force tenants out or locking them out of a property.
“The only exception is for dangerous tenants who pose a threat to other tenants,” he added. “To be clear, that doesn’t include those who are self-isolating with symptoms of COVID-19 or health responders who are putting their lives on the line.”
The moratorium applies for residential and commercial tenants. Additionally, Sisolak said all associated fees should be waived. Shortly following Sisolaks’ remarks, the state issued a guidance document on the evictions directive.
Groups including Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and Nevada Homeless Alliance reached out to the governor earlier in the week after receiving complaints about countless landlords threatening to evict people who couldn’t pay rent because of the health crisis. Some were even threatening illegal lockouts or to enter the property illegally on a daily basis until rent was paid.
Attorney General Aaron Ford, who spoke at Sunday’s press conference, said many of the cases his office has seen amounts to bullying.
“These types of actions are unacceptable,” he added. “No person should be saddled with these issues during an already stressful pandemic.”
Sisolak also stressed the situation doesn’t mean tenants aren’t exempt from rent and urged people and landlords to work out a repayment agreement.
Nevada Treasurer Zach Conine, who said he has reached out to Nevada lenders, added homeowners can apply for forbearance and work out deals to make payments on the backend of their mortgage instead of making any missed payments in one lump sum.
Late fees for mortgages will be waived for 90 days so owners don’t have to worry about their credit score, “as late payments will not be reported to credit agencies so long as the homeowner has worked with their lender,” Conine said.
“I can’t stress this enough; you must reach out to your lender so that they can help you,” Conine said.
He encouraged homeowners to reach out to lenders to request assistance during this time to arrange any needed assistance.
Ford also announced $2 million will be given to the United Way for emergency shelter and food assistance, adding that further details will come in the days to follow.