Landlords in Mecklenburg County say evictions are being unfairly rejected

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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Since Aug. 1, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office has served 145 evictions to tenants.

According to legal experts, the majority of landlords who filed for eviction are still going months without rent payments.

“I have clients who have been trying to get possession of their property since early 2020,” Charlotte-area attorney Chris Shelburne said.

Earlier this month, the CDC extended a pause on evictions in areas with high volumes of COVID cases.

According to the agency’s website, all counties in North Carolina and the majority of the US are considered to have high levels of transmission.

A Mecklenburg County Court spokesperson said as of July 23, more than 2,500 eviction filings were put on hold because of the moratorium. The court said those cases will take priority over new filings.

“Time is of the essence when you are a landlord and there is problem with your rental property,” Shelburn said.

The Greater Charlotte Apartment Association sent a letter to the NC Supreme Court in an effort to speed up the process.

In the letter, the board said in part, “It has come to our attention that the Mecklenburg County Clerk, Elisa Chinn-Gary, has unilaterally announced and decided that her office will not schedule new eviction filings for hearing for periods far outside of the statutory guidelines.”

Shelburn said when a landlord files for eviction, state law requires a hearing to be scheduled within the next seven days. He said hearings already set for trial keep getting delayed.    

“Cases that were ready for trial, had no reason to be delayed were postponed for no reason other than the clerk of court encouraging landlords to seek rental assistance for their tenants,” Shelburn said.

FOX 46 reached out to Mecklenburg County Clerk Elisa Chinn-Gary about the letter sent by the Greater Charlotte Apartment Association and did not get a response before deadline.

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