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What you can do if facing an eviction.

Learn what you can do if you are facing an eviction from your home or apartment. Under the right circumstances, receiving a vacate, pay or quit or eviction notice from a landlord can happen to anyone. It can be due to damages you made to the home, missed rent, disputes with the landlord and many other things. Find what to do if facing an eviction for almost any reason.

Whether you were provided an eviction notice or vacate notice, there are things you can do to get help in short order. Note the exact rules and regulations around eviction vary by state, but general guidelines are below. Whether it was irresponsibility or misfortune that ultimately caused the eviction, it's important that you act immediately to minimize the potential for financial damage. Find some steps to take in short order.

A poorly timed eviction can be extremely expensive and can greatly interfere with a tenant's work or personal life. In some instances it could lead to homelessness. Taking a few moments to calm down, think clearly and plan a strategic course of action can be immeasurably helpful. Or, if when needed, learn how to rent with a past eviction on your record.

Being evicted for non-payment of rent

If you're currently on a lease and being evicted, it's likely that it is due to non-payment of rent or maybe a utility bill that lead to water or electric being shut off. Non-payment of rent (or energy bills) is the most common cause of eviction. The first thing you should do in this situation is consult your state laws and the lease you signed. Your state will have a minimum amount of time that you need to be given to find another place. As many state laws can be complicated and not easy to find, then contact an attorney for eviction help. Agencies also offer information to people being evicted with no place to go.

A landlord needs to give proper notice. It usually ranges from 5 days but it can be up to 45 days. If your landlord is not adhering to this minimum per the state or lease agreement, you may be able to point out the discrepancy to buy yourself more time. At the same time, you will want to immediately start looking for another home or apartment to lease. Or look for family to live with. You can also attempt to work out a payment plan with your landlord, which could reduce the negative impact the eviction will have on your credit. Find other ways to get emergency eviction assistance.




Renovations or property repairs lead to an eviction

Evictions due to renovations or repairs that are being made by the landlord/property owner cannot and should not occur during a lease's duration. However, if you are on a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord may be able to discontinue your lease (if the contract calls for it). This is not a standard eviction and it should not adversely affect your credit standing. Instead, it is simply an end to the lease duration. It can, however, feel like an eviction to those that intended to stay within a property for much longer.

If your lease is still active and your landlord has no language in the contract that allows this reason for the eviction, you can contest the process. Look into free legal aid, or contest it with the authorities or housing court. Landlords are not allowed to simply evict tenants because it is convenient to them, regardless of any written note given. The only possible exception could be if the property you are in was condemned or otherwise declared hazardous.

Being evicted for damage to the property

Occasionally, damage to the property may occur to the extent that the landlord may choose to evict the tenant. This most commonly occurs when the property has been so poorly maintained and cleaned by the tenant that it has been permanently damaged. Or within a natural disaster such as flood, fire, hurricane, or some other event. Landlords are within their rights to evict a tenant that has caused harm to their property beyond ordinary wear-and-tear. However, if you feel that the damage to the property was not your fault or was not significant, you can contest it.

Contesting the eviction process should be done with as much documentation as possible. You should take pictures of the unit and write down a detailed account of what occurred. As an example, a landlord could become distressed and attempt to evict you after a toilet overflows and damages not only your own unit, but the unit below you. However, you might be able to show a chain of evidence proving that you had alerted your landlord to issues with the toilet some months earlier. If the court decides in your favor, you will be able to complete your lease term.





Facing eviction due to noise disturbances, illegal pets, or other reasons

If you, your family, or someone living with you is to do something that is not “typical” behavior, then a landlord can try to evict you as well. For example, if you have a child that is inappropriate. Or if you have aggressive pets (dogs) or the pets are loud and out of control. Or disturbances with others in the community or neighborhood. Or many other non-standard or typical behaviors.

If these cases, generally the landlord can evict you. But they do need to warn the tenant first to correct the issue or behavior. This too can be a serious situation, and you may have the right to challenge it legally.

You have legal rights

There are few things as frightening as the possibility of losing the roof over your head. Landlords know this, and they sometimes attempt to use this fear to their advantage. As a tenant, you should know your own eviction rights in your state or municipality. Not only do landlords have laws governing when they can evict tenants, but they also have laws governing how they can evict tenants. Find how to get legal help from lawyers for housing court.

what to do if facing an evictionYou and all tenants have legal rights when it comes to being evicted. A landlord cannot stop your water or electricity service simply because they want you gone, nor can they change your locks and hope that you leave. They also aren't allowed to enter the unit without your consent or without notice, even during the eviction proceedings. Knowing your rights is the first step towards defending yourself against the possibility of legal action.


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By Jon McNamara











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