Teton County Access to Justice Center was featured in the following article from the Jackson Hole News & Guide. Read full article here.
With a cutthroat valley housing market, renters need all the tools they can get, especially knowing their rights as a tenant.
That’s the theory behind a new round of clinics from Teton County Access to Justice, which kicks off its tenant law sessions this afternoon.
“Housing is our second-most common issue we see from people coming in here,” Executive Director Lauren Browne said. “A lot of those people are in trouble partly because they don’t understand some of their rights.”
The housing clinics, scheduled once a month through July, are intended to help tenants brush up on what their landlord is and is not allowed to do and what they can do if they feel their rights have been violated.
February’s clinic, the first in the series, will run from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Access to Justice office.
Services are first-come, first-served, but an effort will be made to get to everyone who comes.
The attorney staffing the clinic cannot give specific legal advice but can clear up confusion over things like the language of a tenant’s lease or how to take a landlord to small claims court to retrieve a security deposit, Browne said.
“Maybe you don’t need to hire a lawyer, but you won’t necessarily know that if you don’t know the law,” she said. “This clinic is designed to help people reach the point where they can make that decision.”
An interpreter will be on hand for Spanish-speaking attendees.
People seeking advice should bring any document they have questions about, such as a lease, a written communication from a landlord or property manager or an eviction notice, for the staff attorney to review and compare with the law.
The housing clinics currently are funded and staffed through the offseason and into the middle of summer, Browne said.
“The idea behind starting this now is to have a clinic every month during the season when you’re seeing a lot of people moving in and out of their winter housing,” Browne said. “That’s kind of when you’ll get a lot of these issues coming up. We hope we can keep them going through the fall offseason, but that’s still something we’re figuring out.”
If you miss this afternoon, your next chance to catch a housing clinic with Access to Justice will be March 31. The Access to Justice office is located at 185 S. Willow St.
For information, call 734-9023.