LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — The push for better tenant rights continues in the Natural State.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, some people say they are still being threatened with eviction notices and charged late fees
On Monday, The Arkansas Renters United went to four apartment complexes in southwest Little Rock rallying for change.
Some people say they can’t catch a break.
Neil Sealy is one of the organizers. He say there’s about 50 people who need help.
It’s a never-ending story for renter rights In Arkansas.
“We are the worst state in the Union,” Neil Sealy said.
On Monday, Arkansas Renters United held rallies outside Colonial Parc Apartments on Baseline Road.
They also visited Spring Valley Apartments on I-30, Tera Vista Apartments on Tera Vista Circle and Big Country Chateau Apartments on Colonel Glenn Road.
“They are starting to evict people and harass people about rent,” Sealy said.
“There should be no eviction no late fees, no eviction, no late fees,” Winnie Gillespie said.
Winnie Gillespie is feed up with the problems.
“I’m on disability and I was kind of late paying rent last month. I had my church family St. Mark Baptist Church to help me pay my rent plus the late fees,” she said.
Back in March, Congress passed the CARES Act, which prevents landlords from charging fees or penalties for no payments of rent during moratorium period.
“Sorry that is the Governor has refused to issue a moratorium on evictions and late fees. We’ve been asking for two months now we are going directly to the complex’s,” he said.
In May, Governor Asa Hutchinson pointed to statewide funding that is in place available to help.
“If you can’t pay your rent because of losing your job, because of lack of income because of covid 19 there is help for you and we want to be able to help in those circumstances,” the Governor said.
Arkansas Renters United say the Spring Valley Apartments and Terra Vista Apartment are covered by the act, but say some people are still getting harassed.
“I feel like a lot of us low income people we need the help,” Gillespie said.
Our cameras were rolling as members approached managers outside Colonial Parc. They didn’t want to go on camera but say they’ve been helping tenants
“Here is a three day notice to vacate and there are evictions being filed,” Sealy said.
The protections for tenants under the CARES Act will expire on July 25. Arkansans Renters United is calling on Congress to extend the act.