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What To Do When You Receive An Eviction Notice From Your Landlord

Receiving an eviction notice can be scary and overwhelming. However, if the eviction notice is unlawful, you can defend yourself against it and retain your current home. With this in mind, here are the steps you can take to protect your rights and challenge an eviction notice from your landlord. 

Review the Eviction Notice

Once you receive an eviction notice, review it carefully to understand the reason for eviction and the terms of the notice. Check whether the notice is valid by ensuring it complies with state laws. The legal notice period ranges from 30 to 60 days depending on your state, type of tenancy, and the period of time you have been renting the property. Therefore, check your state's eviction laws to determine whether the landlord has complied with them. If the eviction notice isn't lawful, you can fight it and retain your rental property. 

Gather Evidence for Your Case

Even if your eviction notice is valid, you can build a defense against the landlord and win the case. Sometimes, landlords attempt to evict tenants on illegal grounds. If this is the case, gather enough evidence to present to the court during the hearing. Below are examples of defenses you can use against your landlord to invalidate the eviction notice. 

  • Unlawful eviction: If the eviction notice is based on discrimination because of race, color, age, religion, gender identity, or disability, you may win the case against your landlord.
  • Self-help eviction: If the landlord takes matters into their own hands and attempts to forcefully remove you by changing the locks, you can challenge the eviction.
  • Breach of the tenancy agreement: If the landlord has breached any of the terms of the tenancy agreement, for example, by failing to conduct repairs, you can use this as a defense in your case.
  • Retaliatory eviction: If your landlord attempts to evict you as retaliation for raising complaints about the property's condition, you can challenge the eviction notice. 

Do any of the above issues apply to your case? If so, gather adequate evidence to build a solid case against your landlord. The evidence may include emails and texts between you and the landlord, eyewitnesses, the lease agreement, payment receipts, and photos revealing the condition of the rental property. 

Try to Negotiate With Your Landlord 

If possible, try to negotiate with your landlord before the hearing date. For example, if you are being evicted for failure to pay rent, offer to pay any outstanding rent. You can even offer to repair any damage you've done to the property. Successful negotiations can save you the time and resources needed to resolve the dispute in court. 

If negotiations don't work, prepare to challenge the eviction notice in court. Contact an eviction lawyer to learn more.