Ducey delays evictions during COVID-19 pandemic

By: - March 25, 2020 8:07 am

Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order Tuesday that delays the enforcement of eviction orders for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

“Nobody should be forced out of their home because of COVID-19,” Ducey said in a statement announcing the order

If a person is required to be quarantined based on a diagnosis of COVID-19, has been ordered to self-quarantine due to symptoms, is required to quarantine due to someone else in the home having been diagnosed or having symptoms, is in a high risk category for the virus or has “suffered a substantial loss of income” due to COVID-19 they can have the process delayed. 

The executive order does not stipulate how long evictions can be delayed, but the order will stay in place for 120 days. 

Any person who qualifies for the delayed eviction process should notify their landlord in writing and include any documentation they can, according to the order. 

The order also adds protections for tenants from a landlord using a diagnosis of COVID-19 as a reason for evicting them. 

“A landlord shall not interpret a health and safety provision of a contract to include COVID-19 as reason for termination of a lease or rental agreement,” the order reads, adding that information provided to a landlord about COVID-19 issues cannot be used against renters. 

The order also says that it shall “not be construed as relieving any individual of the obligation to pay rent or comply with any other obligation that an individual may have under a tenancy.” 

Last week, all 10 Pima County constables halted evictions and requested the Arizona Supreme Court take action to halt the eviction process in Arizona amid the outbreak. 

As of March 24, there are 326 cases in Arizona and there have been 5 deaths related to COVID-19, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services

Approximately 46 percent of homes in the greater Phoenix area, the largest portion of the state’s population, rent their homes, according to the most recent census data. About 35 percent of the entire state are renters. 

How you can tell if you might have been impacted

Symptoms of coronavirus resemble that of the flu. So, if you’re experiencing coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath, you should consider getting checked out. Call your primary care physician or visit an urgent care center or emergency room — but call the health care provider before you go so they can be prepared for your arrival. The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center is taking COVID-19 calls: 1-844-542-8201

How the coronavirus spreads

  • Through the air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it

How to prevent spreading the coronavirus

  • Cover coughs or sneezes with your elbow. Don’t use your hands.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including counter tops, light switches, cell phones, remotes, and other frequently touched items.
  • Contain: If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better. Once symptoms are gone experts recommend staying home an additional 72 hours.

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joined the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.