With rents on the rise in Pinellas County, Gulfcoast Legal Services (GLS) has joined a group of legal aid providers to spread awareness about tenant rights and resources.

For tenants who are out of the service area or cannot utilize local legal aids, partner Jacksonville Area Legal Aid has created an online form-builder that helps tenants create their own eviction notice answers.

The Eviction Defense form-builder at FloridaEvictionHelp.org includes a guided interview process, which virtually walks tenants through the process of drafting their own legal responses to eviction complaints. It not only includes the most common defenses tenants can raise when facing eviction, but also any special defenses related to COVID-19, including the necessary CDC declaration, according to GLS. At the end of the guided process, tenants are provided with completed forms that can be filed with the court, along with instructions on how to do so.