HOUSTON - Many families say they're receiving eviction notices for not paying rent even though the Texas Supreme Court has now extended a freeze on evictions until April 30th.
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"It's causing a lot of mental stress and anguish. It's causing me to not be able to sleep at night," said Mel House, who received a notice to vacate from her apartment landlord.
"Not getting any rest," added her husband Keyun Dickson. "We pay good money for these apartments to live in,"
Like so many people whose jobs have been cut, they say they can't pay the rent this month and received a notice from their landlord to vacate.
"The part that is so stressful to us is that it states we need to be out by April 13th, which was yesterday," House told us.
But Lone Star Legal Aid attorney Nick Whitaker says a landlord's notice to vacate is legal even though the Texas Supreme Court halted eviction hearings until April 30th.
"A landlord may still issue a notice to vacate and they may still file a lawsuit with the court. But that lawsuit will not be processed or given a court date until after April 30th," Whitaker explained.
A tenant can either move out or go to court when the moratorium is lifted. But Whitaker recommends a tenant try to make a payment plan, in writing, with their landlord.
"Because while they can't go to court right now, they can go to court about your late April rent whenever the moratorium is lifted," said Whitaker.
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House and Dickson say they now plan to ask their landlord to accept a payment plan, hoping they can stay in their home.
"My biggest fear was possibly a big lock being put on the door or being thrown out. And we just didn't know what to do," said House.
The eviction moratorium for people in homes with federally backed rent or mortgages runs until July 25th.
Tenants can call the United Way Helpline at 211 to apply for rental assistance.