TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – A Travis County judge on Wednesday announced extended eviction protections for tenants through March 1, 2022, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement from Travis County said Judge Nick Chu, Justice of the Peace for Travis County, PCT. 5, issued the order, which requires eviction trials for unpaid rent to be suspended for 30 days, so tenants have time to obtain financial assistance, consult a volunteer lawyer and / or negotiate a settlement, without the need for an eviction.
âThe judges are doing what we can to make sure our community is protected as best we can,â said Chu.
The order runs until March 1, as that is the day justices of the peace lose the ability to change rules and procedures under an emergency order from the Texas Supreme Court.
Chu said it was important to extend those protections due to the prevalence of the omicron variant as well as Austin-Travis County’s official move to step 4 of its risk-based guidelines on Wednesday.
âThese kind of us have signaled the need to maintain some of these protections against evictions as we face another public health crisis,â Chu said.
Chu issued the state’s first deportation protection order on March 13, 2020, according to the county, before the Texas Supreme Court acted nearly a week later.
âA lot of times we hear about JP courts, we think about small claims courts or things like that, but really, with JP courts especially during this pandemic, it has kind of highlighted the importance of our being. local justice system and their involvement in trying to prevent this pandemic from getting worse than it already is, âChu said.
If you are at risk of eviction, Chu recommends contacting volunteer legal services or other legal service providers for help.
Below are links to rental assistance programs in the region and state.