Governor Issues Order That Temporarily Stops Landlords From Evicting Certain Renters

Apr 1, 2020, 2:08 PM | Updated: 10:53 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order aimed at helping renters who fear they may lose their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, but only some renters qualify.

Herbert announced during a press conference Wednesday that the order will allow certain tenants affected by the virus to defer rental payments until May 15, while landlords cannot initiate eviction proceedings until May 15.

“No one should fear that they are going to be evicted because their financial health has been hit by this crisis,” he said.

The order affects a growing number of people across the state who have lost their jobs or had hours cut back due to the coronavirus.

“It’s been hard. We don’t know what we’re going to do,” said Adriana Chihuahua, who lives paycheck to paycheck, and was laid off at Delta more than a week ago.

She and her husband — who has seen his hours cut back — talked to their apartment management company about April rent earlier this week, but were told there wasn’t anything they could do.

“Now we have to pay rent,” Adriana said. “We have a kid, and we have to buy food and diapers and a lot of stuff, so it’s been really hard.”

The executive order only benefits those tenants who are up-to-date on rent payments as of March 31, and who have either:

  1. Lost wages or their job because of the coronavirus
  2. Received an order from the health department to self-isolate or quarantine
  3. Tested positive for the virus

“The concept here is anyone who can pay rent, should,” said Paul Smith, the executive director of the Utah Apartment Association.

Smith helped with the language of the order, and emphasized this is not rent forgiveness.

“This is just an industry-supported and great idea to give the hardest hit a little bit of extra time,” he said.

That means the tenants who qualify can defer their rental payments until May 15, while landlords can’t evict them for not paying rent.

Some renters said they are worried that will create a loophole for landlords to evict for a reason other than nonpayment. The order mandated the Department of Workforce Services can offer free mediation if a landlord and renter disagree about whether the tenant qualifies.

“The first thing for landlords is to remain calm. We’re going to get through this,” Smith said.

He encouraged fellow landlords to work with their lenders. He said there are many mortgage forbearance programs they could benefit from.

Smith warned tenants, “pay rent as soon as possible, or this will come back to bite you.”

KSL 5 TV Live


FILE - Comirnaty, a new Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination booster for COVID-19, is displayed at a pharmac...

Jen Christensen, CNN

The FDA tells COVID-19 vaccine makers to update shot to target newest variant

The US Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it had advised the makers of the Covid-19 vaccines to formulate their new shots to be a better match for the JN.1 lineage of the coronavirus.

12 days ago

(FILE) A test dummy getting hit by an air bag during a crash test....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Thousands of cars equipped with faulty airbags on Utah roads as automakers issues ‘Do Not Drive’ warnings

Auto manufacturers have recalled over millions of Takata airbags because of their potential to explode and shoot out sharp metal fragments. And there are still thousands of those in cars across Utah.

15 days ago

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 03: Dr. Anthony Fauci, former Director of the National Institute of Allergy a...

Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

Fauci testifies publicly before House panel on COVID origins, controversies

Dr. Anthony Fauci is facing heated questioning from Republican lawmakers about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

16 days ago

A sign reminding Copper Hills High School students and staff to keep their hands clean during the c...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah school districts working to prioritize what stays when COVID relief money runs dry

Utah's school districts are working to figure out how they will continue to pay for programs propped up by COVID-19 relief funds.

1 month ago

FILE: Former Utah Jazz John Stockton reacts during a 76-70 Wichita State win over the Gonzaga Bulld...

Michael Houck

Former Utah Jazz star John Stockton sues Washington medical director about COVID misinformation policy

Former Utah Jazz superstar John Stockton has filed a federal lawsuit against Washington officials on First Amendment violations, arguing the state's policy of COVID-19 misinformation is unconstitutional.

3 months ago

Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Governor Issues Order That Temporarily Stops Landlords From Evicting Certain Renters