ATLANTA — Folks struggling to pay their rent got a big victory when a federal judge in Atlanta ruled against a lawsuit filed by several landlords asking to end the CDC's eviction moratorium.
But while the eviction freeze will remain in effect until July 31, evictions are still coming not only for those who were protected under the moratorium, but also those who thought they were.
Tiffany Askew said her mother-in-law was caught completely off guard when a sheriff showed up to evict her from her apartment Wednesday morning, leaving all she owns on the lawn in front of her apartment.
"As soon as they started putting her stuff out it rained, so everything here is just damaged. She lost everything, TVs, everything," said Askew.
Her mother-in-law, Betty Askew, had a stroke last year. The 64-year-old thought she was safe from eviction until the end of the moratorium
But the moratorium does not cover all evictions.
"There are specific evictions that have been moving forward completely untouched by the moratorium, and those folks should be checking for court dates, trying to check with their landlords, speaking with an attorney if they need legal advice to see if they can resolve the eviction without losing their housing," said John Gainey with Atlanta Legal Aid.
According to Gainey, there are tens of thousands of Georgians who have had their evictions stayed or put off because of the moratorium, but those will be resuming in weeks.
The moratorium went into effect in Sept. 2020, and has been extended five times. This time is expected to be the last.
"At this point evictions are moving forward in the next several weeks, so if you’ve been served with a dispossessory complaint then you absolutely need to be paying attention to the deadline - which is seven days after you were served - to respond to that complaint," said Gainey.
Because so many of the evictions have been delayed, Gainey suspects getting through all of them could take months, possibly the rest of the year.
If you’re facing an upcoming eviction that had been halted, Atlanta Legal Aid suggests pursuing rental assistance in your county or maybe saving up for a security deposit on a new place and having a plan ready for after your eviction hearing.