renters coronavirus Homelessness and Housing
This photo is one of the many new apartment complexes being build in the downtown area in Phoenix. Mayor Kate Gallego on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, called for a shared regional response to surging homelessness and lack of affordable housing in and around Phoenix, saying more money and longer term solutions are needed to tackle what she said is "a crisis situation." (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Arizona renters now have protections in place during the coronavirus pandemic, but tenants must alert their landlords if they are unable to pay.

Arizona residents affected by the wave of layoffs and business closures due to coronavirus will at least have one less thing to worry about when it comes to paying the bills: Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order postponing eviction actions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This move comes after Ducey declared a Public Health State of Emergency on March 11.

“This is the right thing to do to support Arizona families during their time of need and prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the governor said in a news release.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero applauded the decision to delay evictions on Twitter.

Evictions in Tucson and all of Pima County had already been halted for nearly a week by the time Ducey adopted the practice statewide. The county’s constables announced they would not be serving evictions on March 18, citing health concerns relating to the spread of the coronavirus.

The executive order explicitly states that to be able to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, “it may become medically necessary for Arizonans to remain in their rental properties.”

All enforcement of eviction actions in Arizona for residential premises are temporary delayed. Tenants must alert their landlord if they are unable to pay their rent, otherwise the landlord will be able to evict them for breach of lease when the order is lifted.

Ducey’s actions mirror recent federal actions by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The department announced on March 18 a suspension of all evictions for HUD-financed properties. 

The Arizona Department of Housing also offers assistance to people in who may struggling to make mortgage payments. Homeowners can apply for the “Save Our Home AZ” on the state housing department’s website.

This executive order will remain in effect for at least 120 days.