Tenants who haven’t paid rent or made mortgage payments just got yet another reprieve from being thrown out of their homes, due to an 11th hour, Saturday, May 30 statewide extension of a moratorium on evictions that will allow occupants to stay in place for at least a few more weeks.

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department had just started enforcing eviction papers once again on Friday, May 29 after the moratorium that had lasted about two months. But now any future evictions in Guilford County – or anywhere else in the state for that matter – must wait.

The moratorium on evictions in North Carolina, which began in March, was put in place to protect those who couldn’t pay rent or make their mortgage payments due to the coronavirus pandemic. That moratorium was based on the legal authority of NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, who issued the order on March 19 and later extended it with another court order in mid-April.

Last week, however, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department announced that the period of forgiveness was over and that the eviction moratorium in Guilford County would end at midnight, on Thursday, May 28.

On Saturday, March 30, however, there was a new development: Chief Justice Beasley issued a new order stating that “evictions pending in the trial divisions, whether summary ejectment or otherwise, are hereby stayed until 21 June 2020. Sheriffs shall not be required to execute pending writs of possession of real property or make due return of such writs until 30 June 2020.”

Based on that order from the NC Supreme Court, the Sheriff’s Department announced that it will postpone all of the evictions it had scheduled. The department stated it will extend the moratorium on tenant evictions until at least Tuesday, June 30.

The Sheriff’s Department also reported that some of the pending evictions won’t be conducted at all because tenants have moved out in the last two months or had reached a payment agreement with their landlords.