LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada’s eviction moratorium ends Wednesday night. That is leaving many people to wonder if they can stay in their home.
But a federal rental protection order remains in place, and a new program aims to keep the eviction process out of the courtroom.
The Eviction Mediation Program starts Thursday. It is a new process in Nevada to help landlords and tenants find a solution to avoid eviction.
Demario Simpson, Monicha Henderson and their family live in a southwest valley condo.
“My biggest fear is being out on the streets,” Simpson told 8 News Now. “We have been paying what we can pay towards our rent.”
They have been trying to work with their landlord while dealing with life during the pandemic. That includes raising four children in a two-bedroom home.
“They are trying to evict me because I’m three months behind,” said Henderson.
The data-driven nonprofit, Guinn Center, estimates more than 100,000 households in southern Nevada are at risk of eviction, but a mediation program may help landlords and tenants find a resolution without a court hearing.
Jim Berchtold with Legal Aid of Southern Nevada says a tenant or landlord can request a mediator in their initial filings with the court.
“It’s something new that hasn’t been done before in Nevada,” Berchtold said. “What the mediator does is try to encourage the parties, the landlord and the tenant to come up with creative solutions and reach a resolution on their own to avoid eviction.”
It remains unknown how many may use the program, since a federal eviction moratorium remains in place until the end of 2020. Tenants need to sign and give their landlord a declaration to qualify.
“The protections of that moratorium aren’t automatic. A tenant has to opt into that program,” Berchtold said.
The Eviction Mediation Program is free and funded by federal money. It will be in place after the national eviction moratorium finishes at the end of the year.