Keely rented a duplex with her father and her three children for several years. The home was old and needed repair. When she discovered mold in it this past February, she notified the landlord immediately. Keely has several health conditions that leave her extremely vulnerable to mold-induced illness and other respiratory infections, so it was imperative that the mold be removed from their home.

The landlord agreed to make repairs, and insisted that the family move out temporarily so that the repairs could be completed more quickly. They agreed and stayed with other family members during this time. Once the repairs were underway, however, the landlord realized the unit would require more work than he anticipated. He told Keely that he wanted them to move out, and gave her a 60-day written, no-cause termination notice. Keely tried to get back into her home two weeks later, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, because her health conditions made her especially vulnerable to the virus. However, when she and her family tried to return to their home before the 60 days were up, they found that the landlord had locked them out.

Keely knew that lockouts were unlawful, so she contacted legal aid for assistance. Legal aid stepped in and helped the family get a motel voucher from a local social services agency to relieve the overcrowding in her family members’ home. Legal aid then negotiated a settlement with the landlord, who agreed to pay them the two months’ rent penalty for lockouts. Within just a few weeks, they were able to use that money to rent a safe, healthy, and clean home in their community. Keely, her father, and children are thriving in their new home and making new friends. Keely said, “if it wasn’t for legal aid, we would be out on the street right now. Legal aid went above and beyond to help us, and made it possible for me and my family to move into a safe, new place we can call home.”

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