FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Allen County Small Claims said since the beginning of the year a total of 1,621 eviction cases have been filed. County officials said 508 of those came after the state ended its moratorium.
"We find of the renters we have here in Allen County and there's 39,000 rental households in Allen County. 59% of them are rent-burdened. That means they are paying off their monthly gross income, they are paying 30% in just rent alone," realtor and landlord Jeff Vaughn said.
Even though housing is considered affordable compared to other states, Vaughn said for many, there’s a large gap between income and the cost of living.
A total of 754 eviction cases have already been decided and 867 cases are pending.
Attorney Andrew Thomas said there is something in place now that could help slow up the numbers of cases called a Tenant Declaration. It's put in place by the CDC.
"This declaration said under oath several things. The tenant would say I have tried to get rental assistance. I have tried to make my payments but I haven't made money because I lost income," Thomas said.
Under the CDC's moratorium, the landlord under criminal, federal penalties must not take action to evict that tenant, but many do not know that's in place and there has been a spike in informal evictions.
"We have seen a drastic uptick in those kinds of cases. Fortunately, they are still low in comparison to the overall picture but they are much more than we've seen in the past," Thomas said.
An informal eviction looks like turning off utilities and locking tenants under properties if someone doesn't pay rent.
This is also illegal.
Thomas said really communicate with your landlord to avoid going to court if you can.