LSC recently released a research brief as the first step in a new, yearlong study on the eviction crisis. Congress directed LSC to conduct the study in the FY 2020 appropriations legislation to address concerns about the high rate of evictions in the country and the patchwork nature of local laws and regulations governing the eviction process.
This initial research brief provides an overview of the legal eviction process through the prism of a single jurisdiction: Shelby County, Tennessee. LSC’s examination shows how actions taken or not taken by tenants and landlords during the eviction process impact final outcomes.
For example, it details the challenge tenants in housing court face in understanding what legal defenses they may raise against their eviction. In a review of Shelby County court data from 2016-2019, LSC found that only 1.3% of cases resulted in a clear ruling for the tenant. By contrast, landlords prevailed in their eviction cases 80% of the time.
Throughout the year, LSC will publish additional briefs and reports on eviction and highlight existing research and resources. LSC has convened an advisory board of legal practitioners, academics and policymakers to help inform the study.