Eviction protections are no longer in place in Georgia

The protections from evictions have expired and they are starting to be processed at a fast pace. Evictions are moving all over the state, but this one stands out. 

According to Georgia Legal Service Program, what is happening in Chatham County is what is either happening stateside or about to happen. 

In Chatham County yesterday there were 90 orders to evict with the sheriff’s office. Almost 400 cases are headed through the sheriff’s office, and another 500 are backlogged. One county. We have 159 counties. Do the math. 

The White House made an announcement Saturday through an "Executive Order on Fighting the Spread of COVID-19 by Providing Assistance to Renters and Homeowners." To many, they felt like this was an extension of the CARES Act evictions moratorium. It isn’t. It recognizes the evictions tsunami that’s coming.

Elizabeth Main, an attorney with Georgia Legal Service Program, says many people think there is still breathing room. There is not. 

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"Many tenants in Georgia, we are finding, believe executive orders have halted evictions. We really, really want renters to know this is not true," she says. "Those executive orders do not stop, halt, delay. Even if someone is facing eviction, we want them to remember to keep filing answers if that’s what you need to do. Do not assume that the executive orders will protect you from eviction at this point in time." 

Inconsistency from county to county management of evictions has made it hard to keep track of, particularly, if friends from different areas are talking to each other. 

Here’s a timeline that shows how fast the process moves now. If you miss your Aug. 1 rent, your landlord can demand payment or for you to move the next day, on the 2nd. They can also start the legal process to have you removed. Again, that’s day two. You have seven days to file an answer. If you do not, you can be removed the next day.

HELPFUL LEGAL SERVICES: Georgia Legal Service Program and Atlanta Legal Aid.

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