State extends protections against evictions, utility cutoffs
By Submitted Story on May 30, 2020
(Governor Roy Cooper)
Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order No. 142 to extend the prohibition of utility shut offs and implement a moratorium on evictions. The Order goes into effect on May 30 with the Governor’s signature.
“North Carolinians need relief to help make ends meet during the pandemic,” said Cooper. “Extending housing and utility protections will mean more people can stay in their homes and stay safe as we all work to slow the spread of this virus.”
The Council of State concurred on this Executive Order with no objections. Order will aid in efforts to stop the spread of the virus by preventing homelessness due to eviction and ensuring access to essential utilities such as water and power. Though the Order allows for extended windows to pay rent and utility bills, all tenants and customers are still ultimately responsible for making their rent and utility payments.
The Order’s evictions moratorium:
- Is effective immediately and lasts for three weeks;
- Would prevent landlords from initiating summary ejections or other eviction proceedings against a tenant for nonpayment or late payment of rent;
- Prevents landlords from assessing late fees or other penalties for late or non-payment;
- Prevents the accumulation of additional interest, fees, or other penalties for existing late fees while this Order is in effect;
- Requires landlords to give tenants a minimum of six months to pay outstanding rent;
- Requires leases to be modified to disallow evicting tenants for reasons of late or non-payments; and
- Makes clear that evictions for reasons related to health and safety can take place.
The Order’s utility shutoff moratorium:
- Continues effective immediately and lasts 60 days;
- Prohibits utility disconnections for all customers;
- Prohibits billing or collection of late fees, penalties, and other charges for failure to pay; and
- Extends repayment plans at least six months and sets the default term for repayment to six months for cases when the utility and customer cannot agree on the terms of an extended repayment plan.