Eviction notices could come for some renters as moratorium set to expire

One Knoxville landlord says he will not be evicting tenants unable to pay rent due to the pandemic.
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 9:10 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - According to the Knox County Clerk’s Office, eviction notices have dropped substantially in recent years. The office reported 1,108 eviction cases were filed as of July 20. In 2020, there were 2,172 eviction cases filed while in 2019 the office reviewed 3,283 cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enacted its eviction moratorium, which prevented the eviction of tenants who were unable to make monthly rental payments. The moratorium is set to expire July 31st for the last time.

This would give landlords the greenlight to be able to evict renters even if COVID-19 is keeping them behind on rent.

Many East Tennessee landlords told WVLT News Tuesday they “refuse” to kick families out due to the pandemic. As the CDC’s eviction moratorium expires in less than two weeks, John Morgan, owner of at least 20 properties across Knoxville and the surrounding areas, said he’s doing whatever it takes to keep a roof over his tenants’ heads.

“We’re not in it just to make money, we’re in it to help people have a place to live,” said Morgan. “We have a couple of tenants right now that are getting grants through CAC and they’re catching them up on rent and also paying a couple of months more to give them a little bit of lead way.”

As for those who are going to exercise their right come July 31st and beyond, financial expert Brian Stivers said renters have options of their own.

“The most important thing is to figure out the few options that are left if they are really still struggling if they’re not back to work and have trouble meeting their rent,” Stivers said.

Stivers said renters should first call their landlord to try and work out a payment plan. Consider a personal loan, look to investments or turn to state and locally funded housing programs to avoid an eviction.

There’s still time to apply for emergency renters’ assistance through the City of Knoxville and through the state. However, it could take a month to process.

Renters have until July 31st to file a CDC declaration form that could protect you from eviction.

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