Check out our latest video post to hear about how eviction courts have started up again in Atlanta.
Eviction Court Cases Have Resumed in Atlanta
Hey everyone, Ross Davis here from Homeowner Help Today. I wanted to put together a quick video about an article that I recently read in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, otherwise known as the AJC in these parts, and the article is about something that’s going to be important to folks in the real estate industry coming up pretty soon. The article was about the eviction courts that are starting back up again.
Now, what happened is back in late February, early March, as we went into a statewide lockdown due to the coronavirus, the eviction courts went on hold as well. So they haven’t been holding these courts since March. And what’s been happening is that all of these cases have just been building up, so now we have a backlog of over 10,000 eviction cases that the courts are now going to start trying to work through. So this is going to be a big deal for anybody who is a tenant, who is renting, and it’s going to be a big deal for landlords as well.
Up to 40% of Atlanta Tenants May Be Affected
The first point that I wanted to make that I read in the article is there was an independent study done by a consulting firm that estimates that up to 40% of renters in Atlanta could be affected by this! Now think about that. Atlanta has a huge rental population and if 40% are going to be potentially facing an eviction, this is not going to be good. It’s not going to be good for renters. It’s not going to be good for landlords. And it’s probably not going to be good for the broader economy either.
So we have to figure out something that we can do to help us bridge this gap, hopefully until we can get to the other side of this pandemic.
Help from the Courts?
I also wanted to read a quote that is in the article from one of the judges, for anybody who thinks that they might be getting some help or some sympathy from the court. This quote may have you to think again. So I’m just going to read it straight out.
It says during a virtual hearing held Tuesday in the Dekalb County magistrate court, the judge told tenants that she understands that “many may have lost their income due to a job loss or a health reason.” Then she says, “while that may be a legitimate reason for not paying rent, unfortunately is not a legal reason. The court understands, particularly during times of COVID that you may be experiencing some financial hardship, but under the law of the state of Georgia, those hardships are no fault of the landlord.”
So if you’re a tenant and hoping to get some help from the court during these eviction cases, unless the law changes, then you’re probably not. So what can you do? If you are a tenant or your landlord facing eviction, or if you have a court case coming up, or even if you’re pre-court case, and you’re just having trouble making payments, what sort of options do you have?
Where Can You Get Help?
So the number one thing, guys, that we tell anybody facing financial difficulty with their property, and there are two parties involved, whether you are a mortgage holder and you’re working with a bank, or you’re a tenant, and you’re working with a landlord.
- The most important thing to do is to communicate! You have to talk to each other and see if you can work something out. Believe me, nobody wants to go to court to have to resolve these issues. Everybody would rather just resolve it between themselves and to hopefully avoid going to court entirely.
If you are a renter, your landlord has probably been calling you. So pick up the phone when they call and just talk to them. Tell them the problems that you’re having. See if you can work out a payment plan. I know a lot of renters and a lot of landlords who have already done that. They’ve already worked out a plan. They’ve got something set in place for the rest of the year, where they can both be okay hopefully until we get to the other side of this pandemic and things can start to become a little bit more normal again.
- Atlanta Legal Aid Society – If you are evicted or if you can’t work something out, or if you’re having some trouble, there’s a couple of great resources here in Atlanta for help with some of the legal aspects. There’s a great organization called the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. They are ramping up their assistance during all of this because they see there’s a potential crisis looming. I’ll try to post the link under the video when I’m done, but look them up at Atlanta Legal Aid Society, a great organization here in town to help people in these types of situations.
- Star C. – There’s also a nonprofit organization called Star C. that help people financially through these situations as well.
- Reach out to us! Last but not least, you can always reach out to us. We help people that are having difficulty, facing some financial challenges with their property issue, whether you’re facing foreclosure, having trouble making mortgage payments, having trouble making your rent payments, or if you’re a landlord, give us a call.
We work with people here at Homeowner Help Today all the time to help you get through these situations. we put together a plan for you to get back on your feet.
So give us a call at (404) 500-8094, or reach out to us at homeownerhelptoday.com. Okay, guys, thanks for listening. Have a great rest of your weekend!