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Tenants behind on rent in pandemic face harassment, eviction

Some landlords, desperate to pay their own mortgages, are turning to threats and harassment to force tenants out.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this May 20, 2020, file photo, signs that read "No Job No Rent" hang from the windows of an apartment building during the coronavirus pandemic in Northwest Washington. The pandemic has shut housing courts and prompted authorities around the U.S. to initiate policies protecting renters from eviction. But not everyone is covered, and some landlords are turning to threats and harassment to force tenants out. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

BALTIMORE — The coronavirus pandemic has shut housing courts and prompted most states and federal authorities to initiate policies protecting renters from eviction. 

But not everyone is covered and a number of landlords -- some desperate to pay their mortgages themselves -- are turning to threats and harassment to force tenants out. 

The evictions threaten to exacerbate a problem that has plagued people of color long before the pandemic when landlords across the U.S. were filing about 300,000 eviction requests every month. 

Some tenants are now banding together to push for legislation at the state and federal levels to provide rent and mortgage relief.

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