PHOENIX — Thousands of Arizonans could find themselves without a reliable place to live come November when Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order that delayed evictions is set to end.
The executive order ends on Halloween, Oct. 31 -- and orders to evict people could be carried out in a matter of days after that.
“What happens is that landlords have to file a motion. The judge has to grant it and then the tenant gets five days,” said Pam Bridges, director of litigation and advocacy with Community Legal Services, in Phoenix.
However, even though the state's protections is ending, there are still federal protections available for people.
In September, the CDC issued an order to halt evictions through Jan. 1, 2021, in an effort to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
That protection is recognized by Arizona courts; however, Bridges said only if you actually meet the criteria should you use the declaration to stay in your homes. That criteria includes exhausting other forms of rental assistance, seeking a payment plan to catch up on late rent, and suffering a loss of income due to COVID-19.
No matter the case, if you are caught lying, you could face worse penalties, Bridges said. Landlords have the ability to challenge the CDC declaration, as well as Gov. Ducey's moratorium in court. It is then a judge’s decision if you get to stay in your home or will be locked out.
If you do qualify, Bridges said people need to act as soon as possible. If you are evicted and locked out, it will be too late.
If you have questions or need help, Community Legal Services may be able to help for free. This is especially true if you live in Phoenix due to a grant with the city.
Visit https://clsaz.org/office-locations to find a location near you.
Here are other resources: