John cannot work because of a severe autoimmune disorder. Last year, during a flare up, he was hospitalized for two weeks. With medical bills adding up, he was forced to choose between his healthcare and rent. Unfortunately, he got sick again and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. John missed his rent payment a second time, and his landlord accused him of not maintaining the property because his expired groceries produced a smell in the common areas of his apartment.
“I had my rent on auto pay and was never late before. I hadn’t had any problems with the building before, but the building management turned over and the newer manager didn’t care,” John said.
John’s landlord filed an eviction against him — one day before his first disability check, which would cover his entire back rent. John connected with LCBH through the Early Resolution Program on his first court date.
“I didn’t know how eviction laws worked, and I knew that they’re heavily in favor of landlords. In ERP, I was told LCBH was a strong organization for tenant’s rights,” he said.
LCBH Staff Attorney Caitlin Kelly took on his case and negotiated a move-out agreement with his landlord, who wanted him to vacate the building within 30 days. With Caitlin’s help, the landlord agreed to extend the move-out to 90 days and dismiss his eviction.
“Caitlin was an incredible attorney throughout the entire process. She was extremely responsive, and I don’t know what I would’ve done without her,” John said. “I could pay my rent shortly after they filed the eviction, and I had the wherewithal to communicate with my building, but I didn’t know how to navigate the legal process and she really helped me through that.”
The additional 60 days allowed John to secure new housing and prepare for his move. He’s relieved to not have an eviction on his record, which could limit him from finding rental housing in the future.
“It would’ve been a disaster. I don’t know what I would’ve done. It really would’ve set back my school, my job, and my finances,” he said. “I felt like I won the lottery when you guys called me back and said that you were agreeing to take my case because I felt so lost. I just can’t thank you enough for taking my case.”