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Judge strikes down CDC halt on evictions; what Alabamians need to know

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 11:56 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - As of Wednesday, there are no more protections against eviction for failure to pay rent.

A federal judge ruled in favor of the Alabama Association of Realtors after it sued to stop the CDC’s eviction moratorium. For months there have been no state rulings protecting people from evictions, only federal ones. But as of Wednesday, that’s over. At least for now.

“There is no CDC eviction moratorium. It is done. It is over. It is dead. It only really applied in non-payment of rent-based cases,” eviction attorney Sarah Taggart said.

Before it was struck down, people nationwide were being evicted for reasons other than non-payment of rent, such as violating pet policies, drug possession, or their lease ending and the landlord refusing to renew.

And if a tenant was threatened to be evicted for not being able to make rent, they had to make a declaration that a judge approved.

“It had to say that they made under a certain income threshold it had to say that they had experienced a financial hardship.”

And since November of 2020, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office has served over 300 evictions. Brent Patterson says ever since Governor Ivey lifted the state ban on evictions, they have been operating as usual.

“She [Governor Ivey] lifted it and we haven’t stopped. Until somebody tells us we have to,” Brent Patterson with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office said.

Attorney Sarah Taggert says the eviction moratorium was a temporary solution to keep people in their homes until emergency rental assistance programs could be set up.

“There is so just so much rental assistance that is available. The city of Huntsville has their rental assistance program. It is up. It is running. They have worked out all the kinks. People who live in viewing areas outside of Huntsville city or Madison County, state rental assistance up and running,” Taggert said.

The Justice Department is appealing the federal Judge’s decision on behalf of the CDC.

We know this may impact many of you, so we will keep you up to date with any new developments.

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