NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) — The whirlwind of being stuck at home for months may be coming to an end for Tennesseans but for some, their homes may be their next problems as evictions can start again June 1.
 
The Tennessee Supreme Court closed the courts from hearing non-payment of rent eviction cases absent an extreme emergency.
 
Managing Attorney of the Gallatin Office at Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands Zac Oswald says, “For any tenant who isn’t covered by the CARES Act, the tenant is going to either be able to file an eviction or schedule a hearing for an eviction if they filed it during the last few months.”
 
The CARES Act covers people living in federally subsidized housing, public housing, or if their landlord has a federally backed mortgage.
 
“Then their landlord can’t start the eviction process for nonpayment of rent until after July 25th.” For people in the situation, Oswald recommends asking the judge if the landlord filed a CARES Act declaration, as it’s something they’re required to do. “
 
If my property is covered by the cares act then shouldn’t be evicted for nonpayment of rent until after I get notice in July and after that notice expires in August.”
 
You can also check your address on propublica.org if you’re unsure.
 
He says if you don’t fit in this category, “As long as the landlord follows the correct process to file an eviction and start the eviction process here, in Tennessee there’s no Supreme Court order, there’s no law, that really represents a defense of non-payment of rent cases.“
 
He says either way, “Talk to your landlord is the first piece of advice. We really are going to have to rely on sympathy of others during this situation that is unprecedented in our history. If you’ve got the money to pay rent and you’ve got the money to at least focus on the essentials of living, keeping a roof over your head is the number one thing to be spending your money on right now.”
 
If you do get an eviction notice, Oswald says look for the court date and go. “Because if you’re not there on your court day you lose automatically.”

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