When you rent a house or apartment, you know that the property in which you live does not technically belong to you. However, you also have rights as a tenant that are protected by state and federal law. If you are a tenant that is facing the possibility of being evicted from your home, then you may wonder what rights you have and what you can do to protect yourself. Get to know some of the rights that you have as a tenant facing eviction so that you can be sure to protect yourself and get fair treatment from your landlord.
You Cannot Just Be Thrown Out
Many people fear that if they get behind on their rent or say or do something to anger their landlord (like complaining about maintenance issues or repeatedly contacting the landlord about problematic neighbors) that their landlord can just decide to throw them out one day. However, legally speaking this is not something that can or should happen to you.
In order for your landlord to officially evict you from your residence, they will need a court order. This court order will need to be petitioned based on a specific reason that the landlord no longer feels they can maintain you as a tenant. For example, not paying your rent for a month or two could be a reason for eviction (depending on the terms of the lease you signed). Being arrested for a crime on the premises could also be cause for eviction.
No matter what the reason for your eviction, you landlord cannot just change the locks and throw you out without that legal court document. If they try to do so, you should contact a lawyer and law enforcement as soon as possible to file a complaint.
There Are Ways To Stop An Eviction
Even if you have received an official eviction notice, there are still ways that you can work around the eviction and stop the process. If your landlord is evicting you because of back rent, the first step you will want to take is to contact a law firm or legal assistance company that may be able to provide stop eviction help.
Some non-profits and assistance companies will be able to get you the money you need to pay off your back rent in order to prevent an eviction from being carried out. A law firm, on the other hand, may be able to negotiate with your landlord on your behalf and make an arrangement to prevent your eviction.
If you feel you are being wrongfully evicted without cause, you can fight an eviction case in court. While you are not required to obtain an attorney for this process, it is not advisable to represent yourself. An attorney seasoned in eviction proceedings and tenant rights will be able to do the necessary research on your lease, the company trying to evict you, and the precise laws regarding the rights of landlords and tenants, to give you a better chance of winning your case.
Now that you better understand your rights as a tenant when you are facing the possibility of an eviction, you can be prepared in case this situation ever directly affects you.