An order issued by the city of Fresno, that came out on Thursday, March 19, 2020, forbids landlords from evicting tenants who can't pay their rent due to layoffs caused by the city's "shelter-in-place" order issued earlier in the week.
The order, which was emailed to Fox26 News, states:
Rent Deferral, Eviction Moratorium, an Foreclosures.
(1) No residential tenant in the City shall be evicted due to loss of income related to a business closure, loss of hours or wages, layoffs, or out-of-pocket medical costs caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. (2) Commercial landlords in the City are hereby
prohibited from evicting commercial tenants for nonpayment of rent with respect to tenants whose businesses are subject to this Section or are otherwise closed (voluntarily or by mandate) to prevent or reduce the spread of COVID-19.
(3) A tenant must notify their landlord they cannot pay rent due to a COVID-19 related impact. Within one week of this notice, the tenant must provide documentation or other objective information that they cannot pay rent. Tenants will have up to six
months after the termination of the emergency declaration to repay any back-due rent. (4) This eviction moratorium shall be in effect for 30 days, and may be extended by the Council for additional 30 day periods, so long as the City's declaration of local emergency is in effect.
(5) Residents and businesses should not face foreclosure as a result of COVD-19. Lenders are encouraged to provide a forbearance agreement for up to six months for borrowers impacted by COVID-19, without impacting the borrower's credit.
The city also halted all utility cut-offs, if the city controls those. That includes things such as water, or trash pickup. The city also will not charge late fees or interest on unpaid fees for 30-days. This is how the order is worded:
The City shall not discontinue utility and sanitary service to any customer for reason of nonpayment, and no late fees or interest shall accrue. Any customer whose utility service has been shut off or terminated for nonpayment shall have service restored for the duration of the declared emergency, without any reconnection charges.
The city also notified businesses that they can't hike prices by more than 10% over what anything cost on March 4. This includes hotel rooms and all consumer goods sold within Fresno city limits. Here is the way that part of today's order is worded:
As of March 4, 2020, there shall be instituted a price and rate freeze on consumer goods and lodging facilities which may have limited availability as a result of an emergency or disaster situation. No person or business shall charge a price greater than 10% above prices charged for such goods as of March 4, 2020. This provision shall be enforced via the price gouging emergency ordinance approved by Council on March 16, 2020.
Did you see price hikes that you think might be illegal inside of Fresno's City limits? Report them at 559-621-8400