The state Senate isn’t scheduled to return until the week after next, so it’s all but certain that landlords and lenders will be able to begin the process of kicking people out of their homes, issuing notices and petitioning the courts.
Holly Beck, an attorney for Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, said tenants who were in court for eviction cases before the pandemic hit are facing imminent eviction.
“Could get locked out as soon as Sept. 8 is what we’ve learned from the courts here in Philadelphia,” Beck said.
She said the timing couldn’t be worse.
“School is about to start remotely and children are expected to be learning at home. And many tenants are facing the possibility that they will be forced out of their homes,” Beck said.
She said of the estimated 20,000 annual eviction filings, there is a disproportionate number of Black women with children.
As the clock ticks, Beck is telling her clients that they still may be able to buy more time.
“Their landlord is required to notify them, but not all landlords know that that is required, that the tenant might be eligible for a repayment agreement,” she said.
So if the tenant can show documentation of their loss of income and how it’s related to the pandemic, the landlord, by law, must enter into a nine-month repayment agreement.
She also said a landlord's notice of an intention to file an eviction case is not the same as an actual eviction. The case must first play out in court.
People looking for advice can contact the CLS hotline at 267-443-2500.