How To Fight an Eviction

Receiving an eviction notice is usually a cause for panic.  Worrying about finding a new place, and doing it immediately, is difficult to deal with.  The anger and frustration at the situation, and especially at your landlord, can lead to rash decisions.  Instead of doing something you might regret, fight the eviction!  You have the right to fight an eviction in court.  Even if it is not overturned, you can buy yourself some time to find a new place to live.

  • The first step to fighting an eviction is to review your lease.  While you may feel the eviction is unjust, make sure you did not violate your lease agreement.  Be honest with yourself here.  You will save a lot of time and money if you are willing to admit that your landlord is right.  However, even if you did violate your agreement, you can still fight the eviction, especially if your landlord has violated the agreement him/herself.
  • The next step in fighting an eviction is to research the eviction laws in your state.  Eviction laws vary by state, and you will need to find out if the reason given for your eviction violates those laws.  Search online for "eviction in [Your state]."
  • Alternately, or secondly, consult a real estate lawyer that specializes in tenant-landlord law.  If an attorney feels the laws have been broken, you will need to hire one because fighting an eviction is not something to do without legal help.  Your landlord will almost certainly have an attorney and you should too.  Be sure to check your lease for a provision on who pays the legal fees for any legal dispute.
  • Before your court date, collect any and all paperwork relevant to your case.  Obtain a copy of your lease, canceled rent checks, letters, notices, announcements and any other communications to and from your landlord.  Your attorney may also ask for other evidence, paperwork or any witnesses to your situation in order to bolster your case.

It is possible to fight an eviction, and you have every right to do so.  With the right attorney, the proper evidence and a good case, you may win, and continue to live in your current residence.  However, you may want to find another place to live anyway, because the landlord-tenant relationship will never be the same after you fight an eviction.


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