LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Last week, KCBD told you about eviction proceedings resuming at the Lubbock county courthouse after being halted in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previous Story: Lubbock County Judge talks about eviction proceedings resuming
In response to that story, Legal Aid Of Northwest Texas reached out to KCBD. The group wanted to share advice and tips on tenants’ rights and evictions.
“We want everyone to know that tenants, even that have fallen behind on rent, the tenants still have rights,” said Tamara Duncan, Managing Attorney at Legal Aid of Northwest Texas.
Duncan explained the protections of The CARES Act. She says tenants have a new right under the CARES Act, which is the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act. Tenants who live in a federal property, which is Section 8 or low-income housing, they will continue to be protected. They cannot be given a notice to vacate until July 25. Homeowners with federally-backed mortgages will also have foreclosure protections as well.
Duncan shares some tips for tenants who may be facing eviction after the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The first step is really to have a conversation with your landlord and see if you can work out some kind of payment plan. Obviously you need to get that in writing if you do. Sometimes you can work those things out yourself. But if you’re not able to do that, then we would encourage tenants to see a lawyer,” said Duncan.
Legal Aid Of Northwest Texas has been providing free help to those in need in 114 counties across Northwest Texas since 1951.
“We’re here to help people who can’t afford to pay for a lawyer but still need legal help,” said Duncan. “We provide free help in civil legal areas, and specifically right now for landlord-tenant cases. And those are going to be of the highest priority for us right now.”
“When we represent someone, they usually don’t pay anything for our services,” said Duncan. “And so if someone needs to reach out, even if you’re just delinquent, and you have questions even if nothing happened yet with your landlord, we encourage you to give us a call so we can talk to you about your rights upfront.”
You can find more information on Legal Aid of Northwest Texas on their website, click here.
You can call them at 888-529-5277 or at 806-763-4557.