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Free Lawyers for Tenants Facing Eviction

Local legislation affects real estate investors on a national scale over time. Be prepared to navigate – and shape – the legal landscape by attending Think Realty’s National Conference & Expo in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 24, 2017. Reserve your spot in the audience for the legislative panel and in the classroom for trainings on navigating the legal landscape, getting involved in private lending, and more here.

Early-bird pricing ends May 24, 2017. Act quickly to reserve your spot!

If you live in the D.C. area and own rental property, be warned that the eviction process could soon become a lot more expensive and a lot longer as well. A $4.5-million pilot program endorsed by the D.C. City Council will begin providing certain tenants with legal representation, free of charge, so that they can fight their evictions in the city’s landlord-tenant court. The program has been in the works for more than a year, but only recently received funding via the city’s 2018 annual budget. The program will start in October of 2017.

The program will base eligibility largely on annual income. Eligible tenants will include those who make $24,000 a year if they are single and $48,000 a year if they are a family of four. The D.C. Bar Foundation is preparing to administer the program since it already works with lawyers and law firms to represent low-income residents in civil suits.

Charles Allen, a city council member, said, “90 percent of the landlords [in evictions] have an attorney. 90 percent of tenants don’t. It’s a scenario that is set up where the tenants will lose every time.” He added that the intent is not to change landlord-tenant law, but to “level the playing field” and get settlements or lease extensions for evicted tenants. He also suggested that over time the program might be expanded to cover “all civil matters.”

New York City launched a similar program with a much higher price tag, $93 million, this past February. That program also involved spending nearly $2 billion to add 10,000 “affordable” apartments in the city designated for low-income renters making less than $40,000 a year, senior citizens, and veterans. NYC’s program offers free legal representation for households making less than $50,000 a year and free legal counseling to anyone being evicted.

The program, along with the rest of the 2018 budget, will go to a full-council vote on May 30, 2017.

Local legislation affects real estate investors on a national scale over time. Be prepared to navigate – and shape – the legal landscape by attending Think Realty’s National Conference & Expo in Baltimore, Maryland, on June 24, 2017. Reserve your spot in the audience for the legislative panel and in the classroom for trainings on navigating the legal landscape, getting involved in private lending, and more here.

Early-bird pricing ends May 24, 2017. Act quickly to reserve your spot!