NORTH LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The City of North Las Vegas passed an ordinance that allows the city to penalize, or fine, those who violate emergency directives from the governor or the city. This includes landlords and property managers who violate the state’s moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will apply to residential and commercial properties.
At a special meeting held Wednesday morning, the city council voted 5-0 to approve changes to the City Code that outlines penalties for defying directives during a state of emergency.
On March 12 and March 15, the City of North Las Vegas declared a State of Emergency related to the new coronavirus pandemic.
Under the changes, violators are subject to administrative fines of up to $1,000 per day, revocation of business licenses or permits, or misdemeanor charges carrying penalties of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Councilman Isaac Barron initiated the changes after receiving complaints of people across the valley who had been locked out of their homes, despite Governor Sisolak’s emergency directive on March 29.
“The goal, very specifically, is to stop a handful of bad-actor landlords and property managers from locking people out for failure to make rent. As hundreds of thousands of our hardworking valley residents lose their jobs during this global pandemic, it’s just not right or in the interest of public health to be putting people out on the street.”Councilman Isaac Barron said.
Councilman Barron said the result of these evictions will force families to find housing with other families, which could increase the potential spread of the coronavirus. He also said evictions would force families onto the street, therefore, increasing homelessness.
Specific to evictions, the City of North Las Vegas says it is encouraging people to reach out to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office and resources like Legal Aid of Southern Nevada if they are having issues. If the city receives calls reporting violations, North Las Vegas would coordinate with the Constable’s Office, and code enforcement officials would begin the investigation and escalate to police involvement if warranted.
“We all have to work together through this,” said Janice Cofield, owner of Cofield Real Estate. “We’re all facing challenges.”