Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper on Saturday signed Executive Order No. 142 to extend the prohibition of utility shut-offs and implement a moratorium on evictions. The Order goes into effect immediately.
“North Carolinians need relief to help make ends meet during the pandemic,” Cooper said. “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.”
“North Carolinians want to pay their rent, but for far too many people – through no fault of their own – that’s just not possible right now,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “We are in unprecedented times that call for unprecedented action. I support Gov. Roy Cooper’s extension of the moratorium on evictions to ensure that people do not face homelessness in the midst of this health and economic crisis.”
The Council of State concurred on this Executive Order with no objections.
The 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 3 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 nonpayment;
♦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 nonpayments; and
♦Makes clear that evictions for reasons related to health and safety can take place.
The Order’s utility shut-off 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.