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Mayor Protects Tenants Amid Coronavirus (COVID-19)

via City of Lawrence

Mayor Daniel Rivera announces today, and Emergency Resolution calling for an eviction moratorium for all Lawrence residents for sixty (60) days. This emergency resolution will protect families who might have periods of lost wages due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and resulting school or business closures. “Lawrence is a working community, and many, if not, most of our residents live paycheck to paycheck,” said Mayor Daniel Rivera. “The eviction moratorium will protect the most vulnerable population in our community in the case that they experience income loss at the hands of this pandemic. Our residents should not be overly burdened with confronting the stress of a possible eviction and worry over the health of a loved one resulting from a virus we know so little about.”

The eviction moratorium will require an emergency vote of the City Council and, once in effect, will protect tenants city-wide who can prove income loss as a direct result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) for a period of 60 days, with the possibly of an extension if circumstances dictate. “Relief should come easily for those who need it, and the eviction moratorium will ensure this,” said Mayor Daniel Rivera. “At the same time, landlords should not be expected to lose all rental income completely when the adverse impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) still allows some tenants the ability to pay some portion of their rent. The eviction moratorium will include safeguards for landlords as well, including a clause that will require tenants to pay any back-owed rent resulting from Coronavirus (COVID-19) within 120 days.”

The details:

  • The temporary moratorium shall remain in effect for a period of thirty (60) days, with the option to consider an extension to a longer period as the circumstances dictate;

  • The temporary moratorium must not extend beyond the duration of the City’s Resolution, but may be extended for a longer period by vote of the City Council;

  • Affected renters must demonstrate loss of income, through documentation or other objectively verifiable means, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Affected renters must notify their landlords on or before the day that rent is due that they have substantial loss of income as a result of the declared emergency related to COVID-19, resulting in business closure, substantial loss of compensable hours of work and wages, or layoffs.

  • Renters/tenants must make a good faith effort to pay any portion of rent that they are able with their reduced income, after accounting for personal expenses and without having to dip into personal savings; and

  • For the purposes of this emergency resolution, only earned income will be considered in assessing an individual’s ability to pay rent- personal savings, investments or the value of property in their possession will not be relevant.

  • From the date of expiration of moratorium, renters/tenants will have 120 days to pay any back-owed rent resulting from the Coronavirus (COVID-19).


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