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Eviction notices issued despite moratorium

Posted at 9:09 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 22:35:30-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For several days Hannah Williams has wondered if she would be forced to move-out of her apartment after receiving an eviction notice despite the eviction moratorium issued by the Texas Supreme Court.

“I was completely shocked by the (eviction) letter, because I had informed my (apartment) complex since the day I was laid off, which was March 21, that I was going to be laid-off and unemployed," Williams said.

Her layoff from her job at a restaurant came while coronavirus fears were causing businesses like restaurants and bars to close or switch to only provide take-out meals or deliveries.

She's applied for unemployment but has not received her first check yet. She says she doesn't have the money in her bank account to pay her rent which was due April 1.

“I think that’s completely unfair (to evict people) who are currently unemployed and waiting for their unemployment to come in," she said.

Today Williams received some encouraging clarification on her living situation. She received a letter from her apartment complex that said the eviction notice was only issued so that management would have a record of the non-payment of rent.

The letter also read, "(The complex is) not filing evictions for the month of April, 2020."

A local judge who's court handles eviction cases supports the apartment complex issuing the letters. He also points out that when the eviction moratorium ends in mid-May -- if it's not extended -- tenants will be responsible for the monthly rents they didn't pay.

“I think that’s a good thing -- that letters should be sent out to those that can’t pay their rent at this time" Nueces County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, Place 2 Henry Santana said. "But they should also realize (landlords) will collect their rent eventually once this all goes by, and we end this and we get back to normal."