At midnight on Thursday, May 28, the current moratorium on evictions in Guilford County ends, so some people who haven’t paid rent in a long time will be forcibly asked to leave their places of residence.

While that’s going to be bad news for many, the number of evictions in the first round of removals after the pandemic-created moratorium looks now like it won’t be as bad as initially anticipated.

Earlier this month, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department reported that, once the moratorium ends, the department would execute 140 previously unserved eviction notices that were in process. However, this week, the Sheriff’s Department stated that the number of pending evictions is now much lower than that initial estimate for two reasons – because the department has been contacting both landlords and tenants in advance of the upcoming dates of service, and also because the court is recalling some of the eviction notices.

While the initial eviction numbers from the department last month stated that 140 eviction notices would be executed, that number is now down to 62. That’s how many the department is planning to execute after the moratorium ends this week.

The other 78 cases in the pipeline have been worked out in one way or another. During the pandemic, 43 tenants used the 10-week grace period to either make acceptable payment arrangements with their landlords or used that time to move out on their own.

Also, actions by the Guilford County Clerk of Court helped bring the number down and 35 of the notices were recalled based on procedural grounds. Some of those eviction notices could be put back into effect in the near future, but those residents will at least have some additional time to work their issues out.