LEGAL GROUNDS FOR EVICTIONS IN MOST STATE
EVICTION FORMS: Our free forms and lawyer enabled forms. HERE
You should always consult an attorney in your state or local market for more information
In general, the rules for evicting a tenant are nearly the same for each state.
It is the process to evict a tenant that may vary from state to state, city to city county to county. Such things as required notices, how and where to file, and time frames for response may vary. Again, this is why we highly suggest you work with an
Eviction Attorney in your local area. They will know the process and the courts and how to proceed to either represent the Landlord or the Tenant(s).
For tenants facing eviction, you may have difficulty find an eviction attorney. Many attorneys believe that if the tenant is getting evicted for non-payment of rent, then how would they (the lawyer) get paid. Often there are local legal aid offices that may provide low or no cost assistance.
In addition, tenants who receive rental assistance may have special protections from evictions.
Can a tenant be evicted without a court order?
- The landlord can never evict a tenant without a court order.
- The landlord can never change the locks or lock the tenant out – without a court order.
HOW DOES A LANDLORD GET A COURT ORDER TO REMOVE A PROBLEM TENANT
The first step is with an Eviction Notice.
A typical Eviction Notice will inform the tenant of the problem—such as late rent or having a pet when the lease prevented one—and give the tenant an amount of time to remedy the problem—such as paying back rent or finding a new home for the pet.
If the tenant does not fix the problem, a court date may be set and, depending on the outcome of the case, the tenant may be formally ordered to vacate or law enforcement may remove them
An “eviction” is a legal proceeding by which the landlord seeks to reclaim the premises (apartment or home) and remove the tenant(s).
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
IMPORTANT EVICTION 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. Click here for an Eviction Attorney
SECTION 8 EVICTIONS
– To evict a Section 8 / Housing Voucher tenant, see our guide on Section 8 Evictions
TENANTS and EVICTIONS
Know how to defend yourself against an unjustifiable eviction. To protect yourself, read your lease. Find your state eviction laws.
Also you may:
- Click here for an Eviction Attorney in 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.
The landlord may charge the tenant LATE FEES. Late fees may vary by state.
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.
In many cases, the landlord must offer the tenant to renew the lease for another time period.
Landlords, in working with expiring leases, should give the tenant a 60 or 90 day renewal (or non-renewal) notice. It may include the same or different terms.
LEASE RENEWALS and EVICTIONS
In renewing leases and evictions, courts may decide that an increase in rent that is “unreasonable” may be considered an attempt to evict a tenant and the landlord will loose.
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 NOTE
When you sign a lease, keep all papers or documents and websites. 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 actual eviction date. You will still owe the landlord the money ordered by the court PLUS any additional time you remain in the unit. The court will decide this.
A Landlord cannot evict you until they have a court order.
EXTENSION OF TIME FOR EVICTION
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.
- 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