HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many states, including Alabama put a temporary ban on evictions.
That gave people who could no longer pay rent a grace period to figure out a way forward.
Now, those bans are expiring and millions are in danger of becoming suddenly homeless. The state moratorium on evictions ended June 1, whereas the federal moratorium ended July 24. Across North Alabama, renters have been affected by both.
The federal moratorium applied to government housing and federally backed mortgages. In that case, a landlord must give its tenants a 30-day eviction notice.
Under the state one, a landlord can file the notice of eviction and start the process immediately.
Huntsville attorney Mark McDaniel encourages individuals to respond to an eviction notice, no matter if it’s state or federal.
He says everyone has a right to a court hearing, which can buy an individual time to get the rent money or find another place to live. It also gives renters a chance to settle the case. If you don’t respond, the eviction will be signed off on with no questions asked.
McDaniel is a homeowner himself, and says morals matter more than the law right now.
However, he sees both sides of the argument.
“Everything is going really really good and then boom. People can’t pay their rent to you... you’ve got a job and you are making a living but you are not making enough to make that mortgage payment on the rental houses you got…You have been dependent on the rent for that. So yes that does put you in a real bind,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel suspects the federal moratorium will be extended.
In terms of the state moratorium, he is not sure if another one will ever be implemented.
For now, McDaniel encourages homeowners to be kind and understanding to their tenants during this tough financial time.