LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Gov. Steve Sisolak on Sunday announced a statewide eviction moratorium. The directive will apply to the duration of the state of emergency.
Sisolak was joined Sunday afternoon with Attorney General Aaron Ford and State Treasurer Zach Conine to talk about housing stability amid the virus pandemic.
- If you are unable to pay rent, Sisolak advised tenants to reach out directly to their landlords, property managers and lenders.
- Click here for mortgage assistance details.
"This is not the time to put people out on the streets," Sisolak said. "This is also not the time to evict small business owners who have been hit by the economic fallout by this pandemic."
Sisolak said the state is prohibiting lock-outs, notices to quit or pay and eviction filings for as long as Nevada is in a state of emergency. It applies to both residential and commercial tenants.
This directive applies to those residing in extended stay motels and weekly rentals, according to the governor's office.
Landlords can continue to evict dangerous tenants, who Sisolak said are those who pose a threat to other residents, the public or their property. "Dangerous tenants" does not include those who are self-isolating because they have been diagnosed with the virus or are healthcare workers or first responders who may be exposed due to their work.
.@GovSisolak: This is not the time to put people out on the streets, or evict small businesses. - Only exception: dangerous tenants. All late fees accrued during this time must also be waived. @FOX5Vegas— Tiana Bohner (@FOX5_Tiana) March 29, 2020
"This does not constitute free rent or mortgage," Sisolak said. The directive doesn't end contractual obligations between tenants and landlords, property managers and lenders, he said.
Landlords must also keep to the contract regarding maintenance and other services. All late fees must be waived in this period, Sisolak said. Tenants and landlords are asked to work together to figure out a repayment plan within 30 days of March 29. The directive also applies to evictions already filed in the court, with the exception of dangerous tenants.
Sisolak also warned landlords that they can not lock out tenants or put notices on the tenants' doors and mailboxes to scare them into moving out.
"The goal here is to keep people at home," Sisolak said. The Attorney Generals' office will handle those trying to work around the directive.
According to Legal Aid of Southern Nevada, weekly motel residents -- such as Budget Suites and Siegel Suites -- are protected under the governor's directive. Residents of hotels who have stayed at the facility for more than 30 days are also included under the order.
State Treasurer Zach Conine said his office is working to take "additional risks off the table for workers and families who are struggling."
Conine said they've been working with banks, lenders and credit unions to coordinate relief for Nevadans.
"Most lenders are now offering homeowners facing financial hardships due to COVID-19 a 90-day grace period, allowing Nevadans to delay their mortgage payments until they get back on their feet," Conine said. He explained that lenders are willing to work directly to organize repayment so no one is hit with a lump sum owed at the end of the grace period.
Late fees on mortgage payments are also waived for 90 days, Conine said. Late payments will not be reported to credit agencies, so long as the homeowner has worked with their lender.
Conine stressed homeowners to reach out directly to their lender for help.
- Conine said more information is available on the Nevada Health Response website. After speaking with the lender, if there is extra help needed, the treasurer's office can be reached directly at email@example.com.
Attorney General Aaron Ford at the Sunday press conference said he had been contacted by uncooperative landlords and said the actions of some were "absolutely unacceptable."
All three men stressed the focus of the directive is to keep Nevadans at home.
Ford said his office is offering $2 million in settlement funds to United Way of Southern Nevada and of Northern Nevada for their emergency food and shelter program.
More details of the funding were expected in the coming days.
"We are Battle Born, and we will get through this storm," Ford said. "Together, we will get through this."
Sisolak said the Nevada Health Response website will be updated with additional information regarding housing stability.
The press conference was held at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building in downtown Las Vegas. Sisolak also held a moment of silence for Nevada Highway Patrol Sgt. Ben Jenkins, who was fatally shot Friday morning.
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