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Can My Landlord Really Evict Me During a Pandemic?

So, you’ve been furloughed from your job because of the pandemic and you’re having trouble finding new employment. You’re behind on your rent and you’re worried about being evicted. Presumably, you’ve heard of the federal CARES Act and Governor Roy Cooper’s executive orders, but you don’t really understand what protections they provide to keep you and your family from becoming homeless. At this point, most of those protections have changed or expired. So, this post will explain what is still in place as of the writing of this blog.

Governor Cooper Has My Back Right?

In late May, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order extending the protections for tenants in North Carolina for about three (3) weeks. Most of those protections expired near the end of June, but one major order remains in effect. Landlords are required to give you six (6) months to pay any unpaid rent for the time period between May 30 and June 20, 2020. That means you cannot be evicted for failing to pay rent during those time periods until December 23 (great timing, right?) at the earliest. This is a little bit of good news for tenants in North Carolina who are worried about being evicted.

Is There Anything Else That Protects Me?

The Federal CARES Act provides some additional protections for tenants across the country, but those protections are expiring soon as well and they don’t apply in every case. If you receive federal rent assistance (such as: public sector housing, Section 8 voucher program, Section 8 project based program, subsidized housing for the elderly or disabled, Low Income Housing Credit Program, USDA/RHS homes) or live in housing that is purchased or securitized by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or by the Federal National Mortgage Association, then you are likely protected from eviction until July 25th. Even then, Landlords have to provide written notice of the rent you owe and give you thirty (30) days to catch up before they can evict you. So, the CARES Act really protects you until August 24, 2020 (if the protections mentioned above apply in your case).

Ok, So How Do I Use Them To Fight The Eviction My Landlord Filed Against Me?

While the protections of the CARES Act and Governor Cooper's Order seem straightforward, there are many complicating factors which require the tenant to fully understand their rights to successfully use the protections of both in North Carolina eviction courts. Legal representation is key to helping tenants navigate these treacherous waters. With the consequences of eviction being so severe, hiring an attorney can save you time, headache, and your record. If you’re in danger of being evicted and you want to know what your rights are or might be, contact us today.