TENANTS: Know how to defend yourself
against an unjustifiable eviction. To protect yourself, read your
eviction laws. Also you may:
see our guide . Look for a Local Legal Aide
local government—many cities have a department of
consumer affairs or housing department to help you
if your rent is
subsidized, check whether the subsidy program
will help (Section 8
or other local social service agency)
ask the local library for the municipal code regulations on
at why you are getting evicted. Can you make adjustments?
LEGAL GROUNDS FOR EVICTIONS IN MOST STATES
NON-PAYMENT OF RENT -
The landlord must inform the tenant in writing that full rent is due
by a specific deadline or the lease will be terminated.
If the landlord refuses to take full payment and the tenant can
prove it, the eviction may be challenged in court. After the deadline
for payment of rent,
the landlord doesn't have to accept payment.
The landlord must inform the tenant in writing of the lease
"violation". The tenant must have ample time to correct the problem. If the
tenant does nothing to correct it, the landlord may begin eviction proceedings.
LEASE HAS EXPIRED
If the landlord doesn't extend an expired lease and the tenant refuses
to leave, the landlord may evict.
The tenant must be given written
Give the tenant a 60 or 90 day renewal (or non-renewal)
NO LEASE -
When a tenant rents month to month without a lease, a landlord needs
only to give written notice (usually 30-45 days) to terminate the lease.
If the tenant does not leave at the end of that time, the landlord can
TENANT IN EVICTION
CASES SHOULD -
Present documents, use originals or quality copies.
Get a receipt for all cash transactions. Canceled
checks and money orders are a good proof of payments.
IF THE COURT ORDERS YOU
EVICTED - you might postpone
eviction if you have a good reason. The judge may consider hardships, such as
young children or a sick or elderly family member, in setting the eviction date.
A Landlord cannot evict you until they have a court order.
You may file a request for an "extension of time" if
hardships keep you from making the deadline. Typically moving a child
out of school, loss of job etc may qualify to avoid or delay evictions
MUST HAVE PLAN OF ACTION IN THE EVENT YOU CANNOT DELAY.
The law in most
states requires the tenant to inform the
landlord in writing that they intend to withhold rent if a
specific problem isn't solved by a certain date. Tenants must give the
landlord reasonable time to comply with their requests. The tenant must also make sure the landlord or his
contractor has access to fix the problem.
Just because you withhold rent, doesn't mean you won't have to eventually pay.
The landlord may proceed with evictions in most cases.
HAVE THE MONEY YOU WITHHELD READY TO PAY
Find Eviction Lawyers in your state