Eviction in Times of Covid..There's Another Option..
During Covid many have heard by way of News Reports there's a "National Eviction Moratorium". This is only partially true, and if you are behind in your rent.. and your residence isn't under a Federal Program, or your local / state government doesnt have a moratorium in place, you can still find yourself out on the streets.. Why? Because ( and I'm stating this in bold type )
THE EVICTION/ FORECLOSURE MORATORIUM SET IN PLACE BY THE PRESIDENT ONLY HAS REACH AND APPLIES TO PROPERTIES THE GOVERNMENT HAS CONTROL OVER LIKE HUD / VOUCHER OR SECTION 8 ASSISTANCE OR FEDERAL MORTGAGE PROGRAMS LIKE
FHA / FANNIE MAE / FREDDIE MAC/ VA LOANS,
YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN STILL BE EVICTED BY A PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNER, AIR BNB, OR VRBO OWNER... GRANTED OUR COURTS ARE SHUT DOWN SO AN EVICTION HEARING ISN'T GOING TO TAKE PLACE IN KNOX COUNTY ( AND MOST OTHER JURISDICTIONS BEFORE FEBRUARY 8TH, 2021.. AN EVICTION/ DETAINER ABSOLUTELY CAN STILL BE FILED AND SERVED UPON YOU.. IT WOULD THEN BE UP TO THE COURT AS TO WHETHER OR NOT TO GRANT IT BASED ON YOUR COVID IMPACT DECLARATION .. AND WHILE I WILL NEVER EVER SAY WHAT A JUDGE WILL OR WON'T DO... UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN TENNESSEE THE RULING NORMALLY GOES TO THE PROPERTY OWNER'S FAVOR UNLESS THE PROPERTY OWNER HAS FAILED TO FOLLOW PROPER EVICTION/ DETAINER PROCEDURE.
Another thing to keep in mind, only 27% of rentals in the United States are owned corporately.. In the other instances landlords are private individuals, some retirees that have rentals to supplement their SSI who are still responsible for maintenance, property taxes, etc. Your failure or inability to pay rent due to Covid has affected your Landlord financially as well. Therefore, their eviction has come to you not because they're soulless monsters evicting people during a pandemic but because they need to eat as well. In the below link we can read about a really sad situation in Portland, Oregon that adversely affected both the tennants of a hotel and hotel owner...
Situations such as what happened in Portland, while unfortunate and very sad in this case given that apparently families are not being given other options can also be prosecuted criminally or result in police action/ criminal charges in a removal of you from the premises.. The actions of these folks clearly have impacted the owner and his employess as he stated they're a family owned property and he has now had to lay off 10 of his staff members because he can't afford to pay them. Over the course of the Pandemic, I have had numerous phone calls from landlord clients in the situation of this hotel owner who were they themselves under financial hardship because a tennant hasn't been paying their rent and they don't know how they are going to afford a major repair or how they are going to pay their property taxes. Many times the landlord feels horrible because their tennant has kids, the weather is bad or has been impacted by illness or disability, or up until now have been excellent Tennants but Covid has curtailed or ended their employment.
Sometimes they even ask me if there is another way to get a tennant out with the least amount of damage to either party..
KEYS FOR CASH or Keys4Cash
" KEYS FOR CASH" is another alternative to Eviction Proceedings. In "Keys For Cash", a Landlord offers their Tennant a cash incentive to vacate the Property. When a Landlord calls me with the problem of having someone to Evict, I ask if the Tennant is a Problem Tennant or is just a good person fallen on hard times? If they say the latter, I tell them about a Program I offer called "Keys4Cash". In "Keys for Cash", I go to the Tennant with two things in hand.. a 30 Day Notice to Quit and Vacate or a Contract.. While I still give the Tennant their 30 Day Notice, I tell them I also have what amounts to a Contractual Promisory Note. The Note says that their Landlord will agree to give them a cash advance of a set amount to leave the premises, and secure new residence. If they will agree to vacate the Premises by a certain date, their property is in good repair and they will do no further damage, and that if they do damage they're financially responsible and they agree to pay any back rent in addition to the rest of their lease if the Landlord is unable to rent out the Property, and any other reasonable fees the Landlord incurs to recover the Property. The Tennant is then given a certain amount of money in cash when they return the keys to me or their landlord. This arrangement is beneficial to both parties.
The benefits of the "Keys4Cash" Program extends to both Landlord and Tennant. For the Tennant, it means a cash advance to secure a new place to live, not having to miss work for a court proceding and incurring additional Court Costs, Process Server Fees, and other Legal Fees. MOST IMPORTANTLY, PARTICIPATION IN "KEYS4CASH" MEANS NO EVICTION AND JUDGEMENT APPEARS ON THEIR CREDIT REPORT FOR THE NEXT 7 YEARS, and allows a tennant more time to pay what was owed as they would if they owed as any other debt.. The benefit for the Landlord is that they get their property back sooner than later thus allowing them to turn their unit back into income, avoids costly court filings and costs associated with the traditional eviction proceedings. If the tennant defaults on the agreement, it allows the Landlord to go straight to Judgment without having to go to small claims or here in Tennessee, General Sessions to recover their money.
When a Tennant Chooses the Hard and Costly Option...
If a Tennant facing Eviction declines to participate in " Keys for Cash", then at that point they would be subject to be served with a Detainer when their 30 Day Notice has run. Some Landlords opt to give Tennants another opportunity to take advantage of the " Keys4Cash" Program, however if a tennant doesn't opt at that point, the Detainer is served. Many people believe that if they avoid the Process Server, Constable, or Sheriff it will delay their Eviction, however a Detainer can be posted on the 3rd Attempt by means of taping it to their front door. Believing that they can tell the Judge they didn't get proper notice and the Judge will delay the Proceedings is an Error in their thought process because any good Process Server will not only document in an Affidavit to the Court how the Detainer was served, but they will take a GPS, Time and Dated Picture of the Warrant Evasion taped to the Tennant's door to submit to the Court. Avoidance of a Process Server or Deputy also means more costs to the Tennant because if they're not personally served, then a Landlord has to hire a Process Server or the Sheriff's Department for a 3rd time after the Detainer is Served, and the Eviction has taken place, to serve a General Sessions Warrant for the back rent and damages. In trying to avoid what is no doubt a scary and uncertain situation, it almost never benefits a Tennant in the long run to evade because the Eviction in an inevitably, and now having to find a residence with a recent Eviction on their credit reports is nearly impossible. Never mind a judgement and possible garnishment of their future wages as the Landlord attempts collection of what is owed to them.
In an ideal world folks would never have bad things like job loss, illness, and world pandemics to prevent them from paying their rent. Landlords would never have to be faced with engaging the Court System, and Process Servers to get their Property back and Money owed to them, but this very real and sometimes scary world is the one in which we live. Keys make the best of these types of situations( pun intended)and opening the doors to possibilities and scenarios that avoid bad outcomes are good communication with your Landlord, and honesty about your situation. If that has failed and it comes to Legal Action, again, honesty, transparency, and straight talk backed up by action are always the best policy. Even if you have passed that point with your Landlord or Tennant it's best to be Proactive and put your best foot forward with the Court, and face the situation head on.
If you are a Property Owner needing to recover your rental property check out the Smoky Mountain Process and Legal Services Property Management Recovery Portal at www.besttnserver.com