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COVID-19: Help to avoid evictions

Not all evictions stopped by emergency order
Posted at 6:56 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 21:56:33-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Now that we’re in a new month, you may have a new wave of expenses to cover. If you’re renting a place to live, and in danger of eviction the Coronavirus emergency could protect you.

It is the first of the month. That means for a lot of us it is time to pay the rent. But what if Coronavirus has you out of work or out sick? You do have some options but you have to use them skillfully.

Governor Ducey ordered a halt to evictions if the renter:

-Has COVID-19

-Has someone in their home with Coronavirus

-or has a condition, as defined by the CDC that increases their risk from COVID-19

Also if the virus means they

-Lost a job

-Lost income

-or have to care for a school-age child now out of school

There is a suggested form on the website for the Arizona Supreme Court, but Precinct 8 Constable Kristen Randall says a letter to your landlord should be enough. You do need to back up your claim. Paperwork is best but you could improvise.

“We've been getting pictures of asthma pumps and prescription meds. You know, positive pregnancy test, pictures, but a doctor's note is obviously better, but we are given a little bit of time to work with people so that they can get in to see a doctor or do Tella doc or, or just kind of come up with, with certain measures to document that they have one of these conditions.”

It’s far better to work things out with your landlord before an eviction order brings a Constable to your door.

Precinct 9 Constable Joe Ferguson says the Governor’s emergency order does not stop all evictions and it complicates things if you were way behind on your rent before the COVID emergency hit.

“We're doing evictions you know where there's been a dispute that's ongoing for months and months so so many people haven't paid in a while so the courts going to have to consider that when they talked when they get to go through the eviction process.”

And even if an eviction is avoided you still have to pay all the back rent---just later. The emergency order has about 115 days left.