HEALTH

Dave & Dujanovic: Some Utah renters can defer but only until mid-May

Apr 6, 2020, 6:18 PM

Paying rent during the COVID-19 pandemic...

(Photo: Hemera Technologies Getty Images)

(Photo: Hemera Technologies Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah renters affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic won’t be evicted for lack of payment, but that doesn’t mean a month of living rent-free.

On April 1, Gov. Gary Herbert issued a moratorium on all residential evictions in the state through May 15. The moratorium included Utah renters who have lost a job because of COVID-19,  are under quarantine, or who have tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus.

Herbert stressed it’s not rent forgiveness for Utah renters. Tenants who can pay rent immediately must continue to do so. All tenants who are unable to pay rent now will be required to pay back rent when the order expires. The order is only for tenants who are up to date on their rent payments through March 31.

Utah renters given a reprieve

June Hiatt of the group Utah Renters Together spoke with Debbie Dujanovic and Dave Noriega to talk about the governor’s executive order and what it means for tenants in the state.

Hiatt said she wanted to thank Herbert for his order and for standing with workers who lost their jobs because of COVID-19.

“Is this a good thing,” Dave asked, “or is it going to create more of a financial burden on tenants come May 15th?”

“Both, but there are still some questions that have to be answered before we can feel completely comfortable with this option moving forward,” Hiatt said.

“This is not an automatic ‘don’t-pay-your-landlord’, right?” Debbie asked.

“Absolutely, and we would never encourage that anyone not pay their landlord if they have the means,” Hiatt said.

“For example, I’m a renter. I’m still working from home. I’m still getting my regular income, so I will continue to pay rent.”

How about contracts for Utah renters?

“I guess one of the things that maybe concerns me a little bit is when the governor comes in and he starts changing some obligations,” Dave said. “I mean these are contracts that people entered in. Any concerns about the governor kind of wiping out some of these contractual obligation?” he asked.

“I think it’s important to understand that he hasn’t wiped out any contractual obligations,” Hiatt said.

Renters are still required to pay the back rent, she stressed.

She encouraged renters to work with their landlords. Homeowners who can’t make their mortgage payments for a month or two can call their bank and work out payment arrangements, Hiatt noted.

“What we’re trying to do,” Hiatt said, “is make sure that over the next 45 days as renters are really hurting and starting to feel their loss of wages and their loss of jobs, is they have some time to work with their landlord, and they’re not going to wake up tomorrow … with an eviction order on their door, which is very likely what would have happened if the governor hadn’t signed this directive,” she said.

What happens to Utah renters on May 16?

“The flip side of this is renters are still going to owe the money on May 15th,” and if their jobs are not restored by then, “they might find themselves in a deeper hole come mid-May,” Debbie pointed out.

“Right, and that’s a huge concern that we have,” Hiatt said. “May 16th is kind of a scary day for Utah renters. We’re talking about someone who has lost their job because we are in a public health emergency.

“The governor and other leaders have mandated that certain businesses deemed unessential close,” she said. “Even though it is the right thing to do for the public health crisis that we’re in, the government has ordered the shutdown of a lot of people’s jobs.”

“We’ve seen a 41% increase in the number of unemployment claims that have been filed for the state of Utah . . . We know Utah families are hurting, but what does it look like on May 16th if you’re not back to work or this public health crisis has gotten worse? There’s a lot of uncertainty,” Hiatt said.

“What happens if you don’t qualify [for rent deferment]. Are there other options?” Dave asked.

Hiatt said she encouraged anyone who is struggling to reach out to Utah Renters Together.

“We have a lot of resources to help people. And we’re happy to help guide that uncertainty for folks who don’t qualify,” Hiatt said.

 

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

State of Utah: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line 18004567707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Health

Marijuana grows at Tryke Companies Utah's medical cannabis cultivation facility in Tooele...

Michael Camit

Ironing out Utah’s Medical Cannabis Program

Medical marijuana is one of Utah's most regulated substances, but lawmakers are still trying to iron out the wrinkles in the program.

3 days ago

North American hospitals are seeing a major increase -- 416% over the last two decades -- in teen m...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Decades-long study shows increase in eating disorders among young males

The study showed hospitalizations for young males with eating disorders were up 139%, and even higher in young teens.

3 days ago

Containers holding frozen embryos and sperm are stored in liquid nitrogen at a fertility clinic in ...

Jessica Lowell

The future of IVF in Utah following the Alabama Supreme Court embryo ruling

One expert says they won't know if Utah would interpret its wrongful death statute the same way Alabama did until a case came up .

3 days ago

Doctors analyze a screening of a colon...

Don Brinkerhoff

Younger colon cancer deaths are increasing significantly

Colon cancer deaths are rising and people are dying at a much younger age according to the American Cancer Society.

3 days ago

Rep. Tyler Clancy, R-Provo, speaks about HB261 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 19,...

Aimee Cobabe

Lawmaker wants to increase maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments

Utah lawmakers are supporting a bill to increase the maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments.

4 days ago

woman with a therapeutic device on her head to treat depression...

LAURA UNGAR

A brain pacemaker helped a woman with crippling depression. It may soon be available to more people

Researchers say deep brain stimulation, or DBS — could eventually help many of the nearly 3 million Americans with treatment-resistance depression.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Dave & Dujanovic: Some Utah renters can defer but only until mid-May