Everything You Need to Know About the Eviction Hardship Extension

Facing eviction? Learn about extensions that can provide more time, and get guidance on protections, resources to assist you, and steps to stabilize your situation.

By
Nichole Stohler
|
Last Updated
January 11, 2024
Everything You Need to Know About the Eviction Hardship Extension

Are you currently facing the distressing possibility of eviction?

In times of crisis, an eviction hardship extension can provide a lifeline for distressed renters, offering temporary relief from eviction proceedings.

If you're seeking ways to navigate this challenging situation and protect your tenant rights, you must first understand how an eviction hardship extension works.

Here, we'll cover the details of eviction hardship extensions, their legal implications, and the steps you can take to secure more time and potentially find alternative solutions.

What's an eviction hardship extension?

An eviction hardship extension, also known as a hardship stay of eviction, is a legal directive that temporarily suspends eviction proceedings. It serves as a lifeline for renters facing crisis and provides temporary relief from the imminent threat of eviction.

A judge typically grants this extension and can offer renters additional time to explore alternative options, secure emergency rental assistance, or address their hardships. The specific duration of an eviction hardship extension may vary, depending on the jurisdiction and the case circumstances.

How does it help tenants?

An eviction hardship extension is a temporary fix for tenants struggling financially. It gives them extra time to catch up on rent payments, acting as a shield against immediate eviction. This breather lets tenants stabilize their finances and keep their housing.

While it's not a permanent solution, the extension recognizes the importance of housing stability. It supports those facing hardship, preventing sudden displacement and allowing tenants to tackle their financial issues.

Eligibility for an eviction hardship

To qualify for an eviction hardship extension, you must demonstrate that you are experiencing genuine financial hardship that prevents you from paying your rent.

This could be due to reduced income, job loss, unexpected medical expenses, or other circumstances that have significantly impacted your ability to meet your housing obligations. You'll need to show that you have made a good faith effort to meet your financial obligations, such as actively seeking employment, exploring financial assistance options, and negotiating with your landlord.

Maintain open and ongoing communication with your landlord or lender regarding your financial situation, as eviction hardship extensions are time-sensitive and may vary depending on your local and state law. Acting promptly and seeking assistance when you become aware of your financial difficulties is key.

Securing an eviction hardship extension

If you're facing financial hardship and need to obtain an eviction hardship extension, here are the steps you can take to guide yourself through the process effectively:

1. Communicate with your landlord

Start by honestly and openly communicating with your landlord about your financial situation. Explain the challenges you currently face that have made it difficult for you to pay rent on time. Express your willingness to work out a solution for the lease violations that benefits both parties involved.

Discuss the possibility of a temporary rent reduction, payment plan, or other arrangements to help you stay in your home while you overcome your financial difficulties.

2. Provide proof of financial hardship

To strengthen your case for an eviction hardship extension, gather and organize relevant documentation supporting your financial hardships claim.

This may include documents such as:

  • Proof of job loss or reduced income.
  • Medical bills.
  • Bank statements showing unexpected expenses.
  • Any other evidence demonstrating your inability to meet the required payments for your housing costs.

3. Submit a court request

Research the requirements and specific procedures in your jurisdiction for filing a request for an eviction hardship extension. Each jurisdiction may have its own forms and processes in place, so it's important to familiarize yourself with these guidelines.

Follow all instructions carefully when completing the necessary paperwork, and make sure that you submit it within the designated timeframe. Be sure to provide accurate and complete information to support your request, as any missing or incorrect information could delay the process.

4. Court's ruling

Once you file your request, the court will review the presented evidence and make a decision on your case.

The timeline for the court's decision may vary depending on factors such as caseload and local regulations. Be ready for possible delays during this stage.

Some jurisdictions may require you to attend a hearing where you can personally present your case. Seek legal advice or assistance to make sure that you understand your legal rights and obligations throughout the court proceedings.

Rent and eviction help resources

If you're facing difficulties with rent and eviction, here are some of the resources that are available to assist you.

Emergency rental assistance program

This program provides financial aid to renters and landlords for hardship due to the pandemic. Even in 2023, some programs still exist to help tenants and landlords.

This program can help with:

  • Rent payments.
  • Utility and energy bills.
  • Other housing-related expenses.

Visit the Treasury Department’s Interagency Housing Portal to check eligibility and learn more about the application process.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

LIHEAP is a program that assists eligible families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities in managing costs associated with:

  • Home heating and cooling.
  • Energy crisis situations.

Contact your local LIHEAP office at 866-674-6327 or visit the LIHEAP program website for detailed information and to complete an online application.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Get legal help in paying rent and bills by calling the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) hotline at 1-866-674-6327.

This organization provides many services including financial advice, consumer rights protection, and guidance on various financial products and services.

United Way 211

You can call 211, text your zip code to 898-211, or search the United Way website for legal assistance and eviction prevention resources.

National Low Income Housing Coalition

Use the National Low Income Housing Coalition's searchable database to find emergency rental assistance programs that can provide support with rent and utilities.

HUD exchange

Housing counselors can help with eviction protections and provide resources for families struggling with rent. Visit the HUD website for more information.

Local social services

Check with your county or state government social services departments for rental assistance programs to help with rent payments, utility bills, and general tenant support.

Eviction hardship

The eviction hardship extension provides support to individuals and families facing the challenging circumstances of a potential eviction case. This extension offers relief during tough times, allowing people to stay in their homes while working through financial difficulties.

It serves as a temporary lifeline for those struggling to make ends meet by offering extra time and assistance.

Ultimately, the extension attempts to strike a balance in a difficult situation. Tenants get extra time to work through hardships and seek rental assistance, while landlords retain their right to evict if payments still are not made by the new deadline.

Its goal is to give people of goodwill on all sides a chance to communicate and find solutions during a time when individuals and families may be facing economic uncertainty.

Eviction hardship extension FAQs

Is the eviction hardship extension available nationwide?

The availability of the extension is not nationwide and may vary by region. Some areas may have their own programs or initiatives, so be sure to check with local authorities for the options available to you.

Can an eviction hardship extension be granted multiple times?

Yes, in some cases, an eviction hardship extension can be granted multiple times. It depends on the circumstances and is ultimately left to the judge's discretion.

Can landlords refuse to participate in the eviction hardship extension?

In some cases, landlords may get to decide whether to participate or not. However, some jurisdictions may have regulations or incentives to encourage landlord cooperation. Check local laws and regulations for more information.

Nichole Stohler

Nichole co-founded Gateway Private Equity Group, with a history of investments in single-family and multi-family properties, and now a specialization in hotel real estate investments. She is also the creator of NicsGuide.com, a blog dedicated to real estate investing.

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