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Up To 40 Million Renters Face Eviction! Here’s What You Need To Know

An eviction crisis is upon us. Up to 40 million renters in the United States are facing eviction during these fearful times of a global pandemic. Here is what you should know, along with a few steps you can take to navigate through this time if you are one of those who could be evicted soon.

An eviction crisis is upon us. Up to 40 million renters in the United States are facing eviction during these fearful times of a global pandemic. Here is what you should know, along with a few steps you can take to navigate through this time if you are one of those who could be evicted soon.

“Up to 40 million people — 40% of US renters, according to Statista — are predicted to be at risk of eviction in the next several months, despite an executive order President Donald Trump signed last weekend.” This number is 4 times the amount seen in the Great Recession. In fact, one CNBC article states this is a “severe crisis! “The United States is facing the most severe housing crisis in history,” said Emily Benfer, an eviction expert and a visiting professor of law at Wake Forest University. “Countless lives will be negatively altered solely because they couldn’t shoulder the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic and economic recession.”

Are you at risk of being evicted?

Basically, because the moratorium and protections are over, you can be evicted if you fail to pay your rent.

What happens now that eviction protections are over?

Eviction notices are now legally allowed to proceed and evictions can begin starting August 24th. Some landlords have already reportedly filed for evictions in violation of the law, even before the protection ended. Some states have extended eviction protections for some renters, though coverage may be uneven. Look into what protections are available in your state.

If you live in a property covered by the CARES Act, landlords can now legally ask you to leave and start charging late fees, but the soonest they can legally file an eviction to force you to leave is August 24th. As long as Congress passes an extension or renewal of the eviction ban before August 24th, tenants who are behind on rent should continue to be temporarily able to remain in their homes. But this is NOT certain!  If you can try to do whatever is within your realm of possibility to pay your rent, speak to your landlord, and give them something. Even if protections are extended, they aren’t going to be permanent, and you’re still only buying time.

The CARES Act eviction safeguard is thought to have helped as many as 23 million US families (roughly one-third of all US renters) stay in their homes during the coronavirus recession. As of July 31st, every benefit provided by the CARES Act has now ended, including the eviction moratorium.

That means tenants who can’t pay rent can be legally made to leave their rental properties. Congress has stalled on another stimulus bill that might renew some protections and will likely include a second stimulus check, but there’s new hope that talks may resume this week.

Regardless, rent was due August 1st and will be again September 1st, with no federal unemployment enhancement or rent protections in place.

What Can You Do If You Haven’t Paid Rent?

    1. Communicate with your landlord – Read your rental lease to determine when late fees will apply and communicate with your landlord of the circumstances you find yourself in. In almost all instances it’s probably best to work out an arrangement with your landlord or leasing agency, if at all possible. Many in the housing field are advising those who fear eviction to communicate with their landlords and inform them of their situation and to see if their building is covered by a local moratorium. Renters should contact local housing groups and tenant rights organizations to determine whether they are covered by a local moratorium. A lot of landlords are willing to work with people in this situation and in some situations, housing management companies are even waiving late fees.  Above all, don’t agree to unreasonable conditions or terms you won’t be able to meet, especially if your city or state has enacted protections against such arrangements.
    2. Start Researching – Find out the status of eviction protection in your state. To help you find out the status of eviction protection in your state, legal services site Nolo.com maintains an updated list of state eviction provisions. If you are seriously delinquent on rent, there are free legal services to qualified clients such as Legal Aid that can help walk you through state laws. As well, contact local housing organizations to see if you qualify for assistance. At the very least, they can help you find additional housing. 211.org connects those who are struggling with rent, utilities, and food.
    3. Condense your expenses to try and save as much as possible.

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Renters unable to pay should immediately alert their landlords. Housing advocates and property owners agree that this is the best first step. Landlords are typically more willing to negotiate with tenants who contact them quickly, and are honest about the situation, rather than those who hunker down and stay quiet, they say. Offer to pay what you can, and write a reasonable agreement. The best thing you can do is show that you are making an effort and not taking advantage of someone else.

We wish you well if you are going through this during such a difficult time. Please hang in there! Continue to research and make every effort possible to resolve the situation before it gets to eviction.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on August 14th, 2020