Eric is an LSV lawyer who advises Vermonters needing emergency housing or help due to eviction. He also helps people with subsidized housing problems.
“These callers are under a great deal of stress,” he says. “They often feel they aren’t being listened to and there’s nothing they can do.”
Eric may help someone prepare for a “fair hearing” with the state to get back into emergency housing. He may give advice to a family who was denied subsidized housing or learned their subsidy is going down.
Most of the time, he’s advising or representing Vermonters who are facing eviction.
“There’s certainly an imbalance of power in the tenant-landlord relationship,” says Eric. “Tenants are almost always the underdog.”
He sees a lot of evictions for “no cause.” That’s when the landlord wants the tenant to leave even when the tenant did nothing wrong.
“Sometimes people are surprised they are being evicted. They think their tenancy was going well.”
Callers often feel they have no control. “We remind them they do have rights under the law.” They have to get adequate notice to move out and the proper court process. They usually cannot be forced out of their home quickly.
“We help them understand how they might protect themselves from eviction, or at least get more time to move.”
To protect anonymity and confidentiality of clients, names and some details in these stories have been changed.