HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - If you are behind on your rent, deputies across the Tennessee Valley are beginning to schedule evictions following a two-month halt during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Kay Ivey ordered evictions to be delayed so everyone would have a place to safely shelter in place during the stay-at-home order, but on June 1st that order was lifted.
The final step of an eviction is a called a set-out, that is when an officer forces a tenant to leave and belongings are moved off property. Right now, those are legally allowed to happen again in Alabama.
The governor’s order granted temporary relief, however, residents were still obligated to pay rent or mortgages. Tenants are encouraged to speak with their landlords over any hardships which would lead to backlog in payment. They can also contact 211 for payment assistance.
If you are behind in rent and live in public housing or you have a federally backed mortgage the federal CARES Act protects you from eviction until the end of next month.
“If you are served with eviction papers you only have seven days to answer the court. It is the shortest deadline in Alabama law. Please call legal aid with the attorney of your choice. If you fail to answer you lose by default and it takes seven days,” said Holly Ray with Legal Services Alabama.
If tenants are federally protected, landlords cannot file evictions until July 25.
This only applies for not paying rent. Tenants can still be evicted for reasons like drug-abuse, pet policy, and other specifics in your lease agreement.
DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office began evictions again on Wednesday. A spokesperson told us the department completed three evictions so far.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Department began scheduling evictions again on Wednesday.
We also reached out to the Morgan and Limestone County Sheriff’s Office to see when they will begin rescheduling evictions.
We’ll update this story when we hear back.