On March 29, 2021, the Biden administration extended the federal eviction moratorium until June 30. On March 30, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak extended the state eviction moratorium until May 31 that was previously scheduled to end Wednesday, March 31. The two moratoriums have slightly different eligibility factors. As stakeholders try to sort this out, several questions and concerns continue to loom for tenants across the state.
KUNR’s Natalie Van Hoozer has been reporting on tenant’s rights and spoke with Lucia Starbuck to dig in deeper.
Lucia Starbuck: Natalie, is there a common misconception held by renters about the eviction moratorium?
Natalie Van Hoozer: I spoke with Dubia De La Torre, a paralegal with Nevada Legal Services. She works with both landlords and tenants regarding the proper legal processes for eviction.
She’s saying a common misconception is that people think the moratorium means rent forgiveness for the months they haven’t been able to pay. But that’s not the case. Rent was and still continues to be due. You’ll need to pay any back rent when the moratorium ends, unless you’ve made an arrangement with your landlord.
Starbuck: Are there any other main areas of misunderstanding for tenants?
Van Hoozer: De La Torre said, in general, the eviction process can be confusing. When people receive eviction notices, they don’t know to check if the notice is following the necessary requirements. They also don’t know they can try to dispute the eviction. If you qualify as low income, organizations like Nevada Legal Services can help with the process.
Starbuck: Are there groups being particularly impacted by evictions right now?
Van Hoozer: De La Torre is noticing elderly residents being affected:
[Original quote in Spanish]
“Las más afectadas, yo creo que son los adultos mayores, porque desafortunadamente muchos de ellos viven en una entrada de dinero que es fija”, dijo De La Torre.
She’s saying many seniors have been impacted because they have a fixed income. They don’t qualify for the moratorium, even though they are struggling to pay rent right now because they aren’t in the group who’s lost income as a result of the pandemic. She also sees undocumented community members significantly impacted. Many are misinformed and hesitant to reach out for resources because of their vulnerable immigration status.
Nevada Legal Services will be holding a live discussion about the federal and state eviction moratoriums March 30, at 3 p.m. on the organization’s YouTube channel.
This story was produced in partnership with KUNR Public Radio.
Editor’s note: This web article was updated at 4:55 p.m. with information about the extension of the state moratorium.