LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moratorium has expired, evictions are expected to increase. There is still, however, help available for tenants who need it.
Experts say one of the worst things a tenant can do is ignore an eviction notice.
The Civil Law Self-Help Center is adding more staff and space to help accommodate the anticipated uptick in evictions in the coming weeks and months.
Lauren Pena, directing attorney at the center, says, “There are thousands of people out there who are just really worried about how they are going to make up for past-due rent and where they are going to live, and I would call that a crisis.” She adds, “In Nevada, we have what’s called the summary eviction process, which is one of the fastest in the country. So, it is rapid-fire, lightning speed.”
Pena counsels tenants with an eviction notice to file an answer with the court within seven business days, apply for rental assistance and choose mediation. If tenants don’t follow those steps, she says on the eighth business day, they could find themselves locked out of their homes.
The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, which oversees the help center, reports assisting 3,200 tenants in a typical month. In June, that number jumped to 7,000.
Tommie Wesley tells the I-Team his rent jumped from $575 a month to $850, and that’s why he decided to visit the help center for guided direction.
He also shares that he just doesn’t have the money and hasn’t received an eviction notice yet. Wesley says he is worried he will, “I’ve never been through anything like this before, so I don’t know how it’ll go. Hopefully, it’ll give me a little time to try to figure something out.”
The I-Team reached out to the manager of the company handling Wesley’s property and did confirm the rent increased and that notices of the increase were sent out in June.
The manager also added that costs have gone up for landlords, as well, and shared that if tenants reach out and are willing to work together, they may offer an extra month at the previous rate.
More information on where to seek help with eviction is included below.
Civil Law Self-help center information:
- WHO: Tenants and Landlords
- WHAT: Free legal aid due to evicitions
- WHERE: Civil Law Self Help Center – Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave. (Downtown Las Vegas)
- WHEN: Mon- Thurs., 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Fri, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Other helpful resources:
- Legal Aid Southern Nevada: (702)-386-1070, website information click here.
- Clark County CARES Housing Assistance Program: website information click here.