The pandemic has caused significant economic hardship, and many people are struggling to pay their rent or can’t pay it. If you are facing eviction, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of eviction law and what your rights are.
Right now, as the moratorium on evictions ends nationwide, it’s a good time to do some research: The CDC has issued a nationwide order prohibiting evictions, which applies until June 30 for eligible people.
When the moratorium ends in New York City, there’s no doubt that it will hit the city’s five boroughs hard. As the Times summarizes, “In the neighbourhoods hardest hit by Covid 19 – mostly black and Latino communities that have struggled with both the health crisis and the housing crisis since the virus swept through the city last year – the likelihood that landlords will seek to evict is nearly four times higher.” The new report says this.
Knowing you are not alone in your current plight is essential. Recent statistics show that up to 18% of U.S. renters are, on average, up to four months behind in their rent payments.
Resources for people facing forced eviction
COVID-19 Emergency Tenant Assistance Program
This comprehensive table lists, by state, financial assistance opportunities for tenants in need.
Hardship Application Form (for New Yorkers)
New York’s eviction moratorium is in effect until May 1, but you must prove that you qualify for this protection.
Country-Specific Deportation Laws
If you are facing eviction in Alabama or Alaska, you can find information about your state’s specific eviction laws and protocols here.
National Resources for Tenants
There is also a list of organizations, categorized by state. That help tenants in need, often with direct contact information by phone or email.
Coronavirus Resources for Tenants and Community Development
HUD’s website has contact information for emergency counsellors, tips for contacting landlords, and links to information on fraud prevention.
Legal aid organizations and other resources by state.
Find legal advice and eviction representation in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Texas, Florida and many other locations. (Quick tip: type “legal aid eviction” and the state you live in into Google, but make sure you land on a severe source, such as a nonprofit organization).
Tips for communicating with your landlord
A large, faceless management company may manage your home; in this case, there is little room for personal, human interaction. It may also be owned by a landlord dealing with a pandemic.
Free emotional and psychological support and resources
You may have heard of the Suicide Prevention Hotline, but you may not think your experience warrants a call. However, according to the website, the service is available to anyone who “needs emotional support.” People can call about addiction, financial issues, relationships, sexual identity, dealing with violence, depression, mental and physical illness, loneliness and much more.
How long will my eviction notice stay on file?
Evictions can be painful. However, the good news is that removal does not impact your creditworthiness. (If you are behind on your rent and your landlord decides to refer you to a collection agency, it may lower your credit score.)
What about the possibility that an eviction will wipe out my chances of renting in the future? Experian advises, “Normally; an eviction notice stays in your rental history for seven years. When applying for a rental, ask your landlord or leasing agent for the name of the company they hired to check rental agreements. Find out if there have been any evictions in the past.”
Of course, the pandemic has caused unprecedented problems for tenants. Hopefully, understanding landlords and management companies will consider these circumstances in the future.
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