Utah House Dems urge Gov. Herbert to place moratorium on evictions

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Utah House Democratic Caucus is urging Governor Gary Herbert to place a moratorium on evictions, late fees, and collection fees for renters and small businesses for the next 60 to 90 days.

With the beginning of the new month Tuesday, the Utah Democratic Caucus says many of their constituents are now out of work and struggling to make ends meet because of the pandemic and are still being asked to pay rent. 

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While the caucus thinks those with the means should still pay their rent they said those experiencing hardships should be given leeway for a deferral.

The federal stimulus that passed last week, designed to support Americans with temporary payments will not arrive until after April 1, which according to the caucus is too late for many Utahns.

According to the lawmakers, nearly 1 in 3 Utahns are renters, and no one should be getting evicted right now under these circumstances.

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The Democratic Caucus said while it is admirable that many landlords have indicated a willingness to voluntarily waive rent and late fees, not all of them will. Just as numerous other states have done, the governor should order a halt both commercial and residential evictions, including non-criminal nuisance evictions, and allow renters to make back rent payments up to six months from the rental due date.

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“We acknowledge that this systemic problem not only impacts renters and landlords but also banks and mortgage lenders.  Reaching solutions to address all of these interwoven challenges will require more time to develop, which may likely begin soon in a special session. But for many anxious renters, the urgency is now,” the Democratic Caucus said in a statement.

The Democratic Caucus urges the governor to “take this first step and act immediately before this issue worsens our current crisis.”

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