Melissa Flores was renting a house with her husband and children when the pandemic first hit. Shortly after businesses began shutting down, her husband lost his job. The Flores family tried making arrangements with their landlord, but he demanded full payment. He didn’t just want their past due rent, but he tacked on an additional $1,100 in interest. Melissa even asked if he could take their security deposit as part of what they owed and he refused. Melissa and her husband felt harassed by the landlord, as he tended to stand outside of their property. Because of this, they’ve called the police twice.
Already overwhelmed, Melissa learned that the landlord started eviction proceedings and sought legal help with LSLA’s Clute Branch Office. The landlord, the owner of the Flores family home, and several other single-family residences in the area did not have any legal representation and had not done any due diligence towards determining whether the CARES Act applied to the home. The CARES Act prohibits evictions from being filed if the property in question has a federally backed mortgage.
Attorney Kory Kittel took the case and met the landlord just before the eviction hearing. Kittell was able to work out a deal in which Melissa and her family would move out of the home over a week in exchange for the eviction—and a claim for several thousand in back rent—being dismissed. The Flores family was able to move out and have the house fully cleaned by the date in question. The landlord was thrilled at the condition they left it in and was more than happy to drop the proceedings. The Flores family has since moved on to other housing.
*Names were changed to protect the client(s) identity.