FILE - underwater mortgage, foreclosure, foreclosed home

The state of Nevada's temporary moratorium on evictions and foreclosures gradually is being lifted under a directive issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak.

"Our goal through this process has been to create a pathway for Nevada property owners to gain access to the courts and mitigate damages, all while keeping tenants in their homes and making sure homeowners have the ability to pay their mortgages," Chris Bishop, president of Nevada Realtors, told KLAS.

The directive calls for residential evictions and foreclosures to resume on Sept. 1 for non-payment of rent and no cause evictions. Landlords cannot impose late fees or penalties for non-payment. Tenants who have violated other terms of their lease can be evicted beginning July 1. Landlords also can resume charging late fees or initiating lockouts for commercial renters beginning July 1.

In addition to this directive, the governor announced a $50 million statewide rental assistance program. This program is funded by CARES Act dollars and allocated $30 million for residential rental assistance and $20 million for commercial rental assistance.

"This eviction moratorium significantly affects not only tenants, but also many landlords who depend on rental income, not only to pay an underlying mortgage, but in some cases it is a landlord’s only source of income," Teresa McKee, CEO of Nevada Realtors, told The Center Square. "Entering into a repayment plan is in the best interests of both the tenant and the landlord as it settles any dispute about what the tenant truly owes, without late fees, and what the landlord can expect to be repaid. The tools are in place for most tenants and landlords to reach a repayment agreement and allow the tenant to remain in the property and allow the landlord to continue paying the mortgage."

Nancy Brune, executive director of Guinn Center, told The Center Square that states are bracing for a surge in evictions once the moratoriums are lifted. Between 250,000 and 400,000 low-income individuals, people of color, and undocumented individuals are especially vulnerable to housing market disruptions.

“The city of Las Vegas is using its CRF to launch a new Housing Assistance Program that will cover up to three months of delinquent rent or mortgage payments for qualifying residents who are facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic and are behind on housing bills,” Brune told The Center Square.

“We continue to remain fluid in working with our residents," Susy Vasquez, executive director of the Nevada State Apartment Association, told The Center Square. "We appreciate residents who have continued to maintain open lines of communication with property owners. Rent assistance programs are being developed in Nevada to assist those in need. We are communicating with many local agencies to ensure information on assistance resources are disseminated as soon as they are available.”