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November 2021

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603 Legal Aid The Advocate

A monthly newsletter from 603 Legal Aid

Issue 6 |  November 2021 

See the photo of Bart the dog.

In this issue:

NH Court website has new design and URL

Non-payment evictions: get free legal help at Manchester District Court

Get help with rent and utility bills

A question of law: What happens with my security deposit when my landlord sells the property?

603 Legal Aid’s new address

Good client story

Who we are:

603 Legal Aid helps NH’s low-income people by providing free legal advice and information by telephone, or a referral to another program for legal help. If you know someone who needs help with a non-criminal legal problem, have them contact 603 Legal Aid.

603 Legal Aid is the starting point to find reliable legal services in NH. Learn more about NH legal aid and the critical role 603 Legal Aid plays. Watch a short video from the NH Judicial Branch website.

Be sure to stay updated at NH Legal Aid’s website for LEGAL ISSUES DURING COVID-19 CRISIS.

603 Legal Aid can give legal advice about benefits, housing, and family problems such as

  • eviction
  • custody of a child
  • divorce
  • social security benefits
  • foreclosure

603 Legal Aid can refer people to an attorney to resolve

  • immigration problems,
  • debt collection issues, or
  • to expunge a conviction from their record

603 Legal Aid is here to help the people you serve. We want to serve them, too, by advising them of their legal rights—especially during these uncertain times.  

Encourage your clients to call us, or you or your client can apply for legal help from our website.

  • Call 1-800-639-5290 or (603) 224-3333 from 9 AM – 1 PM weekdays,
  • Apply anytime online at NHlegalaid.org,
  • Foreclosure issues call 877-399-9995.

NH Court website’s new design and new URL

The Judicial Branch has officially launched its newly redesigned website. What is important to the people we serve is the completely redesigned Self-Help section.  Check it out at the new URL address: www.courts.nh.gov.

Free legal help with non-payment evictions at Manchester District Court

Manchester District Court will have resources at the courthouse to help tenants in nonpayment of rent eviction cases on certain days for the rest of the year (see schedule below). On these dates and times, a Community Action Program representative, and attorneys from New Hampshire Legal Assistance and 603 Legal Aid will be helping tenants apply for rental assistance and, if needed, preparing the tenants to ask the landlord and the court for more time to have their applications for rental assistance processed.

The legal aid attorneys will do a brief intake with the tenant to assess their case and eligibility for this help. Attorneys may be able to help with motions to continue or give legal advice on how tenants can proceed on their own.

Tenants are always encouraged to contact 603 Legal Aid before their hearing to get advice on their rights and defenses or to possibly be referred to an attorney. Tenants are also reminded to visit www.capnh.org if they need help paying rent.

CAP representatives and legal aid attorneys will be at the Manchester District Courthouse on the following dates and times:

November 3, Wednesday, 8:30 – 12:00

November 9, Tuesday, 8:30 – 12:00

November 16, Tuesday, 1:00 – 4:00

November 24, Wednesday, 8:30-12:00

November 30, Tuesday, 1:00 – 4:00

December 7, Tuesday, 1:00 – 4:00

December 16, Thursday, 8:30 – 12:00

December 23, Thursday, 8:30 – 12:00

December 30, Thursday, 8:30 – 12:00

Get help with rent and utility bills from the NH Emergency Rental Assistance Program (NHERAP)

If you are a NH resident who cannot pay your rent and utility bills due to the COVID -19 pandemic, you may be eligible for help. Apply through your Community Action Partnership (CAP) at the link below.

  • Funds can cover current and past due rent, as well as utility and home energy costs for eligible households.
  • This assistance is available retroactive to April 1, 2020, through the date of application, and the applicant may also receive assistance for these same expenses going forward.
  • Households may receive assistance for a total of 12 months.
  • Payments will be provided directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the household. Landlords, with the tenant’s permission, may apply for assistance on behalf of their tenant.
  • This program is only for eligible renters and landlords, not homeowners, per federal rules.

To be eligible, at least one person in the household:

  • must qualify for unemployment benefits, had their income reduced,
  • have had significant costs, or
  • had other financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • The household must also be at risk for homelessness and
  • meet certain income requirements.

Go to the program’s website or read the fact sheet://www.nhhfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/NHERAP-FAQ-web.pdf

Go directly to the CAP website to apply.

**Rockingham’s Rental Assistance Program: Rockingham County received additional federal funding to establish a rental assistance program. The eligibility requirements and the application are the same as the NH Emergency Rental Assistance Program being administered through the Community Action Programs. Learn more about it.

A question of law: What happens with my security deposit when my landlord sells the property?

Q: My landlord informed me that my apartment building will be sold. What will happen to my security deposit?

A: Any landlord who holds a security deposit shall turn the security deposit over to the purchaser of the property at the time the deed is passed to the new owner. The landlord shall notify the tenant by registered or certified mail of such turning over, including the name and address of the new owner who then holds the security deposit.

Any landlord who turns over to the new owner the amount of such security deposit with interest due, if any, is thereby relieved of liability to the tenant for repayment of the deposit. The new landlord is then responsible for the return of the security deposit to the tenant, unless before the expiration of the term of the tenant’s lease he transfers the security deposit to a new purchaser of the property giving the tenant the requisite notice.

603 Legal Aid’s new address

On November 1, 2021, 603 Legal Aid moved to 93 N. State Street, Concord, NH 03301. The new space accommodates a larger staff to better serve our clients.

Good client story

Susan and her husband were evicted from their Lakes Region apartment sooner than they thought was possible. Caught off guard, they were forced to leave all their personal items behind, including her father-in-law’s ashes and an American flag presented to Susan at her own father’s funeral to honor his service in World War II.

Within hours of the lockout, Susan and her husband called the landlord and pleaded for permission to re-enter the unit to retrieve these irreplaceable items. The landlord told them that all their items would be brought to the dump. In a panic, Susan called 603 Legal Aid for help.

603 advised Susan that the landlord had a legal obligation to store her items in a reasonable manner and to give her reasonable time to retrieve them. 603 advised Susan to file a special petition at the local district court to enforce this legal obligation. Susan followed 603’s advice, and her former landlord was soon ordered by a judge to give Susan and her husband immediate access to their personal items.

“We got all of our stuff on Saturday,” Susan recently told 603. “The urn and the flag were the first things we grabbed. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.”

If you know someone who had a good outcome in a legal case due to 603 Legal Aid’s help, please share that Good Client Story with us! We would love to share it with our readers. 603 Legal Aid will never use a client’s real name or any facts that could reveal who that client is. Send your Good Client Stories to: webmaster@603legalaid.org and put “Good Client Story” in the subject line.

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Equal justice for all should not depend on whether you can afford it. Make a difference for New Hampshire’s most vulnerable citizens -- donate to the New Hampshire Campaign for Legal Services. Your donation will provide vital support to 603 Legal Aid and New Hampshire Legal Assistance. Help us ensure that New Hampshire's poor and elderly have a place to turn when they need legal help.

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