Evictions

Eviction Laws

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NOTE: You should always consult an attorney in your state or local court for more information on the EVICTION PROCESS. 

EVICTIONS: An "eviction" is a legal proceeding by which the landlord seeks to reclaim the premises (apartment or home) and put the tenant out.

If you are a landlord, you should find out the legal grounds for evicting a tenant as well as the proper notification requirements also known as the EVICTION NOTICE.  Eviction laws vary by state or jurisdiction

NOTE: A tenant could receive compensation for costs paid because of unlawful eviction.  For a landlord to take legal action against a tenant who does not move out, the landlord must first give written notice to the tenant in accordance with state and local law prior to evicting them.  When in doubt consult an attorney who specializes in evictions.

SECTION 8 EVICTIONS - To evict a Section 8 / Housing Voucher tenant, see our guide on Section 8 Evictions

  EVICTION LAWS by STATE

Eviction Lawyer Directory 

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TENANTS: Know how to defend yourself against an unjustifiable eviction. To protect yourself, read your lease. Find your state eviction laws. Also you may:

  • contact a lawyer see our guide . Look for a Local Legal Aide Agency.

  • contact your 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 eviction

  • look 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.
See: EVICTION NOTICE

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.

OTHER TENANT VIOLATIONS - 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 notice.
Give the tenant a 60 or 90 day renewal (or non-renewal) notice. 

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 evict.

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 your date.
YOU MUST HAVE PLAN OF ACTION IN THE EVENT YOU CANNOT DELAY.

WITHHOLDING RENT 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
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