Mr. and Mrs. Jones had been behind in their rent for a few months because Mrs. Jones lost her job due to COVID-19. They secured enough rental assistance to get current on their rent, but the landlord refused to accept it. The couple had heard that the landlord wanted to end the current leases so they could begin charging much higher rent. Our clients thought that was why the landlord decided seemingly out of nowhere to file for an eviction for nonpayment of rent while simultaneously refusing to accept their money.
They contacted SCLS and we tried to mail the landlord the couples’ signed CDC Declaration forms certified. We did not get any confirmation of receipt before the hearing. At the hearing the judge asked if the landlord received the signed CDC Declaration forms. The SCLS attorney told the Court it had been mailed. The attorney had the postage receipt and signed copies of the Declaration. The receipt and Declaration were given to the Judge and the landlord at the hearing. The judge ruled that since the forms had now been signed and the landlord had now received them, he would dismiss the case and allow the landlord to file for an eviction after December 31.
Representation by SCLS is what the tenants needed. The week before the hearing Mr. Jones had obtained a better job out of state so they were planning on giving the landlord their 30-days’ notice the day after the hearing. The dismissal with the SCLS’s attorney involvement gave our clients more time to pack and get their affairs in order. More importantly to them, the dismissal kept an eviction off their record and allowed them to open the next chapter of their lives without this barrier.