LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — When evictions resumed last week the state and Lexington both released plans to keep people healthy at home while keeping landlords in business.
We know it hasn’t been enough yet to satisfy tenants with groups rallying outside court in protest.
We found out it’s not enough for landlords either.
Protesters ask if the pandemic is ongoing why are people getting evicted?
“The spikes are going up and there’s more people getting sick with it,” says Brandi Carter whose been evicted in the past. “Now what if they start evicting people and places start shutting back down, that’s more people on the streets and I just don’t think that’s right.”
She knows what the process of eviction is like.
“Without the help of other people its hard to tell if we would be on the streets,” says Carter. “Me and my husband had nothing at the time.”
Pre-pandemic, the eviction process required one court appearance. The judge could ask the tenant to move out in 7 days.
But the state Supreme Court just issued an order extending the process requiring two court appearances and a 14-day pause before trial can be set, allowing landlords and tenants time to access available rental assistance.
Attorney Stephen Marshall says that won’t help the landlords he represents.
“Time is money for landlords,” says attorney Stephen Marshall. “When they get a tenant behind in rent they need an eviction process that is streamlined.”
“If you get one, two, three of those folks who aren’t paying or five months that’s a significant strain,” says Carter. “They are losing their livelihoods.”
Marshall says anyone being evicted now, would’ve been anyway pandemic or not but he says landlords are working with people covid-19 has impacted financially.
That’s what the Lexington Housing Justice Collective says it’s asking for, more time for people who need a safe place to stay especially right now.