City of Bishop Adopt Ordinance to Protect Citizens from Eviction

The Bishop City Council this afternoon adopted the attached Urgency Ordinance placing a moratorium on commercial and residential evictions. As the global COVID-19 emergency persists, the economic impacts of the federal and state orders to prevent the spread of the virus such as social distancing, school closures, and restaurant and bar closures has left many city business and individuals unable to pay their rent.

On March 16, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order N-28-20.  The order suspends any state law that would preempt or otherwise restrict the city’s exercise of its police power to impose substantive limitations on evictions based on nonpayment of rent resulting from the impacts of COVID-19.

Under the Ordinance, both commercial and residential tenants who notify their landlords before their rent is due, and provide documentation to their landlord within thirty (30) days of their rent due date, that they are unable to pay all or a portion of their rent, due to substantial financial hardships resulting from COVID-19 may not be evicted during the pendency of the Governor’s Order N-28-20 or an extension thereof.

To be protected from eviction by the ordinance, tenants will need to notify their landlords and provide documentation evidencing their inability to pay all or portion of their rent during the effective dates of the ordinance are due to COVID-19 impacts.  Tenants will also be required to pay whatever part of the rent they were able.

Landlords will not be permitted to begin eviction proceeding against tenants who qualify during the term of the ordinance, nor will Landlords be able to charge late fees to eligible tenants.  However, tenants will still be legally responsible for paying all rent due within four months after the expiration of the ordinance. A version of the ordinance in Spanish will be placed on the City website tomorrow.