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Franklin County Struggles To Overcome High Number Of Evictions

Jerry Smith wanders through a home on the west side of Columbus with his hands clasped behind his back. His hat says “bailiff” in big block letters, and he’s guiding researcher Stephanie Pierce from room to room. They pass an overturned couch and old clothes strewn on the floor.

“Wow, so there’s a lot of stuff here,” Pierce says, looking around the dining room. “It definitely looks like it’s been a pretty hasty departure.”

“Probably about 50 percent are left in this condition, about 50 percent,” Smith tells her. “You rarely ever get one that’s cleaned out and pristine or anything. Occasionally—but rarely.”

If the eviction process cannot be resolved, this is where it winds up: a set out. Under the supervision of a bailiff, the landlord clears out a tenant’s remaining belongings and retakes possession of the home.

No one wants to end up here. Evictions are expensive for landlords, and they miss out on rent in the meantime. Tenants have to move on short notice, and a past eviction can make it hard to find a new place to stay.

Read or listen to the entire story at WOSU Radio.

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