LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In just over three weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium will end. Recent reports show nearly 200,000 Nevada households are at risk for eviction.
8 News Now spoke to the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, which is working around the clock to help tenants understand their rights in this process.
“Families are just really struggling right now,” said Taylor Altman, staff attorney at the center. “So, we’ve had an unprecedented volume of calls from tenants requesting our help.”
She says it is important for tenants to understand that if they receive a notice from their landlord, they need to file an answer in court.
“Even if they’ve applied for rental assistance, and even if they’ve given the CDC declaration to their landlord,” Altman noted. “They should definitely go and file that with the court to make sure they get a hearing, and they can present their side of the story and any defenses they might have to eviction.”
When filing, tenants who have a notice for nonpayment of rent can also take part in the new eviction mediation program. A neutral third party will help the landlord and tenant reach some kind of resolution on back rent.
“In that case, they might be able to avoid court altogether,” Altman said. “So the mediation program is excellent, and I would recommend tenants seriously consider that option.”
For those that have exhausted all options and need to leave, the Legal Aid Center understands the housing market is tight right now, especially if a tenant has an eviction on their record.
“They can call us, and we can see if this is something we could potentially help them seal,” Altman said, “so future landlords could not use those cases, and it wouldn’t prejudice them from their housing search.”
The Legal Aid Center is helping tenants fill out court documents and answering questions they may have. Attorney consultations are available for those with more complex cases.
The CDC eviction moratorium will expire on Dec. 31. While the Legal Aid Center is unsure if there will be an extension, they are hopeful the CDC and federal government will act soon.