PHOENIX — Officials are fearing a "tsunami of evictions" after the federal evictions moratorium ended in July, and there's a lot to know if facing an eviction.
Cities, counties, and the State of Arizona are sitting on funds available for renters for rental assistance. Each city in the greater Phoenix Area has rental assistance programs easily accessible online or over the phone.
The City of Phoenix has also started a Tenants Eviction Assistance Project (TEAP) that provides free "legal assistance to help residents experiencing an eviction crisis, including working cooperatively with local agencies administering COVID-19 related rental and utility assistance programs for the City of Phoenix, Maricopa County and the State of Arizona."
For people who are able to receive city, county, or state funding, a local tenant union says to make sure all agreements between tenants and landlords are solidified in writing.
"Paying off the judgment is no assurance that you will be removed from the rental property," said Ken Volk, President of the Arizona Tenants Advocates. "If you get a written agreement signed by the tenant and the landlord, or the agent of the landlord then you're in good standing."
Volk said if you're looking to avoid an eviction on your record and are planning to leave your residence before being locked out, grab whatever belongings you can, or risk losing your property.
"If you leave your property on the premises, and return your keys to the landlord, you will, very likely, lose all your personal property," said Volk.
Volk adds that many landlords who have been losing money during the pandemic are looking to cash in on a thriving real estate market, tenants are in a lose-lose situation regardless if they have money or not. This move to capitalize on a hot real estate market is worrying some people who work closely with the homeless community that Phoenix may see more homeless and unsheltered people on city streets.
For more information about how evictions work in Arizona, click here.