Getting behind on rent and receiving an eviction notice can be a traumatic experience. Whereas each state is different, most state laws share characteristics, and it is essential to understand how evictions work in your state to know what you need to do. That said, we can give you some general advice for any state.
First, you should know there are resources available for you. Many websites have an in-depth listing of every state’s laws concerning tenants and landlords. Similarly, if you reside in government-subsidized housing, there are also specific resources to assist you through an eviction case.
Despite variations from state to state, most jurisdictions have similar laws about the process of eviction. To start, the landlord should tell the tenant, in writing, that payment is due by a required date. Most states have a specific demand for the way that notice is provided and how the tenant must respond, with payment. Failure by the landlord to strictly abide by notice laws will halt the eviction from moving forward, usually requiring them to wait another month before they can continue.
If the tenant does not want to leave the landlord’s property, the landlord is in his rights to provide a written eviction notice. Usually, a landlord has to give the tenant notice about the amount of unpaid rent and the date by which it must be paid. If the tenant disregards the notice, the landlord may move forward in court with an eviction lawsuit, called an unlawful detainer.
Whatever the circumstances, if you have received an eviction notice, act quickly; otherwise, you might lose your rights to the property. Your best bet is to contact a landlord-tenant attorney. You ought to additionally gather any information you have regarding the property, like leases, notices, e-mails with the landlord, pictures, receipts, etc. If you receive any paperwork, significantly from a process server, you ought to now review it and verify what reasonable response you need could make in court, if it comes to that.
Evictions tend to be quick proceedings. Therefore time is of the essence and failure to pay the unpaid rent or respond to the unlawful detainer likely will settle your case in the landlord’s favor. Be ready to go to court and testify. Bring proof with you to your hearing. Since your landlord should serve you with a written eviction notice, create copies of the letter to take to court with you to contest the eviction. Furthermore, cancelled checks are solid proof that payment has been made and received even if you have no other receipt.
If you have a written lease, read it carefully, and find out about the provisions for terminating the contract by either party. Some states permit eviction notices to be sent through the mail whereas others need hand delivery, or it must be attached to the door. The oral lease is one kind of binding lease. However, because there is nothing in writing, occupancy terms are determined by the actions and verbal agreements of the parties.
No matter what, always keep in mind that only a court can pass judgment on an eviction. A landlord can place an eviction into motion. However, the directive to evict needs to come from the local court. The landlord does not have the legal authority to get rid of a tenant’s belongings from the premises. This may be done only by enforcement, with a judicial writ. The court also will verify whether back rent is owed and if any other fees need to be paid.
If an eviction presents an emergency condition for your family, contact Express Evictions law firm for more information. Check to see if your community has legal services or a legal aid organization. Ask at the library, the local bar association, or at a legal aid office how you can hire an experienced attorney in your area, a lawyer whose practice covers your case. Learn how to access information regarding different lawyers and the way to seek out lawyers in specific practice areas and how to verify their credentials.
If you are hiring an attorney on your own, look around for one who makes a speciality in real estate issues, significantly tenant evictions. The only thing you do not want to do is nothing. Doing nothing can have one definite outcome that leaves you on the street and probably having to pay a big amount of cash on top of it.