CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Friday, the moratorium in place for Federal Housing Evictions through the CARES Act expired, meaning evictions can resume. However, there are still some protections in place that have altered from the original Landlord Tenant Act.
Nicole Paluzzi, the Lead Housing Attorney for Charleston Pro Bono, said the largest change is a 30 day notice for being evicted.
Under the Landlord Tenant Act, Section 7-10, it specifies that if there is a rent demand it can be in the lease in a conspicuous manner and there could be a specific quote that the landlord may use. If they don’t have that quote in the lease agreement itself then they have to do a rent demand to the tenant which is usually a letter specifying that there is rent due and that it is needing to be paid immediately and that after 5 days of this notice the landlord may file an act of possession. With the CARES Act—there is a 30 day demand period which is actually longer than we have in other portions of the Landlord Tenant Act.Nicole Paluzzi, Housing Attorney Charleston Pro Bono
Those affected by the Violence Against Women Act are those who fall in the category of being subject to this process. According to Paluzzi, that’s a tenant who is renting with a housing choice voucher, or Section 8 to pay a portion or all of their rent. Property that is owned by the Public Housing Authority also carries with it an individual subsidiary so the tenant is not paying market rent in that location. Those who have federally-backed mortgages that are reporting the amount of people in their household and their collective earnings as well as those enrolled in programs who are under the low income tax-credit administered through the IRS are also affected.
Paluzzi said while she wishes the moratorium would have been extended, the extra demand period could prove to prevent individuals from ending up on the streets.
This 30 day notice can now be sent to a tenant to cure any arears that they have on their tenancy ledger and the tenant may make those payments and if they do, the matter is considered cured and the and the landlord can’t file for possession if it’s only based on that nonpayment of rent.Nicole Paluzzi, Housing Attorney Charleston Pro Bono
If you are looking to avoid an eviction and need payment assistance at this time, Paluzzi suggested that you call 211. When you do call, an individual will be able to match you with the best agency that can help you in your situation.