(NEXSTAR) – The newest option for flexible gig work doesn’t involve driving your neighbors around or delivering food to their homes, it requires removing them and their stuff for failing to pay the rent.
The website for the startup Civvl advertises process server and eviction crew work on a flexible schedule across all 50 states.
The company website describes the work as the “fastest growing money making gig due to COVID-19.”
According to Civvl’s site, the work involves posting eviction notices, serving papers and assisting with foreclosure cleanouts on behalf of banks, landlords and property managers.
While it may seem like a cruel parody of the gig economy in the age of COVID-19, Vice reporter Ashwin Rodrigues dug into the business and says it appears to legitimate based on its national advertising effort and links to slightly more established gig sites. Rodrigues was unsuccessful in attempts to get a response from the company founders.
“Seizing on a pandemic-driven nosedive in employment and huge uptick in number-of-people-who-can’t-pay-their-rent, Civvl aims to make it easy for landlords to hire process servers and eviction agents as gig workers,” wrote Rodrigues, describing the company as, “Uber, but for evicting people.”
An estimated 22 million people lost their jobs in the early days of the pandemic, and while some of those people have been rehired, many have been lost for good. With government agencies and facing unexpected deficits and stimulus efforts gridlocked, it’s likely that the economic fallout will be felt for months to come.
Renters fearing eviction should look at protections instituted at both the state and federal level.
On September 1st, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a moratorium on evictions that covered roughly 40 million Americans at risk of losing their residences. In order to be covered, the renters are required to sign a document declaring that they don’t make more than $99,000 annually or $198,000 if filing jointly, and that they would likely become homeless if not receiving protections.