Kansas report on evictions highlights ignorance of legal system, confusion over rent assistance

A study found both landlords and tenants do not understand the laws surrounding rental property and assistance programs.

By

State News

July 8, 2022 - 2:38 PM

Organizers for Rent Zero Kansas gather April 1, 2021, on the south steps of the Statehouse to warn legislators of potential fallout of inadequate housing policy. Photo by (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — A new judicial committee report on evictions in Kansas points to multiple problems with a complex, fast-paced legal system for ousting tenants who fail to pay their rent.

Three-fourths of eviction filings are resolved through procedural errors, an indicator of the ignorance tenants and landlords have with the legal process, the report found. Under the strain of the pandemic, courts failed to mitigate widespread confusion and misunderstanding about the availability of $300 million in federal aid administered by the state, half of which went unused.

The report recommended judges tell tenants early in the process that they can fight their eviction and that rental aid may be available to them. Other recommendations include targeting high schoolers with programs designed to educate them about the landlord-tenant relationship before they sign their first lease.

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