AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City Council approved a temporary 60-day grace period for renters who can’t come up with the money.
That 60 days is from when the rent is due. This will give renters time to come up with the money before a landlord can start the eviction process.
But what if you live outside Austin?
KXAN’s Kaitlyn Karmout looked into if Williamson County officials are looking to do the same. She also talked to a property owner whose taking proactive measures to help tenants struggling during this time.
“Roughly a third of them are in service and hospitality,” said Jim Cambell, Property Owner of Urbana at Goodnight Ranch. “Approximately 10% of them have lost their jobs.”
That’s what Cambell found surveying the demographics of the Urbana at Goodnight Ranch. It’s a property he owns in southeast Austin.
”We ended up giving them 50% rent for both April and May. Eliminating late fees,” said Cambell. “We also requested if they did lose their jobs, that they come in and see us — and see if we can work out a plan to go forward.”
That break provided to all 150 of his residents was a tough decision. He expects the banks to come knocking, but says, “We just felt that we had to do something.”
Not every landlord has the ability to take such a proactive approach, however.
Many tenants could soon be faced with an eviction notice, but It’s important to note that there is a grace period when it comes to that in Williamson and Travis County.
“Any evictions that are filed, won’t actually be heard in court until May 11 or after,” said Jeannie Nelson, Executive Director of Austin Tenants Council.
Evictions are a legal process: landlord can’t just say ‘”Get out now.”
“Until there has been an eviction hearing and a judgement for eviction, and a writ of possession has been executed, tenants are not legally bound to leave their residence,” said Nelson.
The Austin Tenants Council says you should first pay your rent if you can, then seek rental assistance. Next, talk to your landlord. Chances are a landlord isn’t actually going to be quick to evict, that’s a long process that costs them money, too.
”There aren’t a lot of folks out there waiting to move in like they were a couple weeks ago,” said Nelson. “Landlords are going to be better off negotiating so they don’t end up with a vacant rental property.”
Statewide, an order from the Texas Supreme Court does not allow the filing of any eviction cases before April 19.
At the same time, many who rent in central Texas are worried about their financial obligations, too.