Eviction protections upheld for thousands of North Carolinians

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Renters can breathe a temporary sigh of relief as eviction protections remain in effect for thousands of North Carolinians.

A federal judge granted a temporary stay on a ruling to overturn the national eviction moratorium. The eviction ban will remain in place while the case continues through the legal system.

The CDC eviction moratorium was put in place as a public health measure. It was determined evictions could hurt the efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The national and state moratoriums are set to end on June 30. That could leave a few weeks for renters to figure things out. Attorney Jesse McCoy said the only reason why some renters aren’t on the street is because of the eviction moratorium.

“In North Carolina, if a landlord can prove you owe even a dollar, they could be successful in an eviction action if there was no moratorium,” McCoy said.

He’s a supervising attorney who works with Duke Civil Justice Clinic. He said without an extension, thousands could be without a place to live and court systems could be swamped.

“It’s going to be a nightmare. You got all those cases that have not been heard. I think it’s going to be a tsunami of evictions,” McCoy said.

He said many of his clients are working and paying their current rent but they can’t afford to make up the past-due payments.

“You got some people who have a deficit for 10 months. You have deficit for four months. It’s really spread throughout,” McCoy said.

For anyone having trouble paying their rent, McCoy suggests working with the landlord now to set up a payment plan and get the plan in writing. He also encourages renters to call 211 to find the best rental assistance programs in their county

“I don’t want people to feel like they are alone in this situation. Oftentimes people feel like their bills get ahead of you and your rent gets out of control, but it’s not just you. This is a national issue, “ McCoy said.

The moratorium only protects people against evictions based on failure to pay rent — not for other evictions like criminal activity.

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