Eviction freezes and rent deferrals end Friday

Still options for renters and landlords
Posted at 11:53 AM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 13:53:21-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The economic impact of COVID-19 is hitting renters and landlords hard, and eviction freezes and rent deferrals expired Friday.

Many renters and landlords took advantage of the moratorium Governor Gary Herbert issued on April 1.

The reprieve put a hold on evictions and allowed renters to defer payments through May 15.

It wasn’t a get out of rent free card, just a 45-day pause.

But two months later, many people are still struggling to pay their bills and could face eviction.

"I believe this really helped a lot of people, said Tara Rollins, Executive Director of the Utah Housing Coalition. "In terms of people started losing their jobs in March and some people had received their stimulus funding, some of them didn’t."

Many renters are two months behind.

According to a survey by Apartment Guide, more than 40-percent of renters are worried about their ability to make payments in the months ahead.

Rollins says there is funding available.

"Right now we have a million dollars to start off to help people. It’s up and running right now and so I'd encourage people to reach out and find that assistance," she said. "The state received CARES Act funding. So the governor received discretionary funds and the 20 million dollars is coming from that fund.”

Rollins says the best thing you can do is have an honest conversation with your landlord.

You can offer to pay off what you owe over several months, or you can also ask if you can dip into your security deposit to cover some of the cost.

"Right now we do have a mediator that is really incredible to work with landlords and the tenant to come up with a plan," Rollins said. "Sometimes it’s just a communication breakdown. Sometimes a third person is extremely helpful in these situations so I would encourage anyone who receives that notice to dial 211 to find out exactly what their rights are. They’re going to get you to the right agency.”

Your bank or credit union may have some options, from skipping loan payments and debt consolidation to loan forbearance or loan deferment.

To find out more about rental assistance programs call 2-1-1.

There are also programs that can help commercial property owners and nonprofits.