GOVERNMENT

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

Today’s Top Stories

Government

Gov. Spencer Cox appointed John D. Luthy to the Utah State Court of Appeals on Tuesday....
Mark Jones

Gov. Cox appoints John Luthy to the Utah State Court of Appeals

Cache County Attorney John Luthy has been appointed by Gov. Spencer Cox to serve on the Utah State Court of Appeals. Luthy has been practicing law since 2003.
1 day ago
Utah Senate candidate Evan McMullin is taking a political action committee and three television sta...
Michael Houck, KSLTV.com

Evan McMullin sues super PAC, three Utah news stations for defamatory ad

Utah Senate candidate Evan McMullin (I) is taking a political action committee and three television stations to court for a defamatory ad.
1 day ago
supreme court pictured, its new term has started and will hear new cases...
Aimee Cobabe

U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Utah case involving bump stocks

A Utah court case involving bump stocks will not be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court declined to say why it won't take up the case.
2 days ago
supreme court pictured, its new term has started and will hear new cases...
The Associated Press

Supreme Court’s top cases for new term, new Justice Jackson

Already the Supreme Court has said it will decide cases on a range of major issues including affirmative action, voting rights and the rights of LGBTQ people.
2 days ago
Lisa Garner. Photo credit Draper City....
Mark Jones

Lisa Garner has support of Draper mayor to become next city judge

Draper Mayor Troy Walker is seeking the appointment of Lisa Garner as the city's next judge. The appointment must be approved by the city council on Oct. 4.
5 days ago
US President Joe Biden announces student loan relief on August 24, 2022 in the Roosevelt Room of th...
Betsy Klein and MJ Lee, CNN

Biden administration kicks off student loan debt forgiveness process

The Biden administration began its efforts aimed at student loan forgiveness on Thursday.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Dave & Dujanovic: Some Utah renters can defer but only until mid-May