If you have received an eviction notice, do not panic. Notice evictions are just the first step a landlord must take in a tumultuous process that requires numerous steps. Thus, you don’t have to immediately move out, and in some cases, you may never have to move out. So, take a second to relax and review what our real estate attorneys say are the most important steps to take after receiving an eviction notice.
But before we dive into that, it may be helpful to understand what an eviction exactly is. An eviction is the process by which tenants are legally removed from the property they reside in. Evictions are court enforced and thus no eviction can ever take place without a court order telling you to do so. Evictions can occur for a number of reasons including but not limited to, not paying rent, causing damage to the property, having unauthorized guests or pets on the property, criminal activity, violence, and even too much noise. Occasionally, tenants are even evicted because they were unaware or failed to realize that their lease was up, and they have overstayed their welcome on the property.
Now that you are an eviction expert, follow these steps to best combat the eviction notice you just received:
Step #1: Learn and understand the reason you were served with the eviction notice.
This may seem as an obvious step, but it cannot be ignored. Reading eviction notices can be disheartening, however you must understand the reason you are receiving the notice. Perhaps, you can remedy the reason. If it is for not paying rent or causing damage to the apartment, the landlord may provide you with an option to avoid the eviction by paying your missed rent or fixing the damage to the property.
Step #2: Check your state and local laws.
Regardless of the eviction notice, you should ensure that the eviction notice is a proper legality under your state and local laws. While you certainly can peruse state laws in your areas on whether the eviction is proper, an attorney can be especially helpful for this step.
You should also check your state’s moratorium on evictions. For example, New York’s moratorium is scheduled to end January 15, 2022. For more information on moratoriums, check out this post recently crafted by JUSTLAW.
Step #3: Check your lease.
State and local laws aren’t the only bodies of law that control your apartment. Your lease does as well! Check it over and view whether the activity the eviction notice has accused you of is explicitly stated in the lease.
Step #4: Respond to the notice.
At this point, if you have exhausted steps 1 though 3, it’s time to engage with your landlord. Landlords are humans too and they may be empathetic to your situation.
Therefore, either write back to the landlord or schedule a face to face, or of course a video call, with your landlord to straighten out the situation. Offer your missed rent payments, tell them you’ll remove your pet, or ensure they know that the damage to the property will be fixed momentarily. But also do not be afraid to put your negotiation hat on. If you missed a few rent payments and the landlord asks for rent and interest, counter the landlord with just rent and not interest. Remember, there are always other places to live, so be a negotiator!
If you need a real estate attorney to help you fight your eviction notice, look no further than Justlaw. Free consultations are available across all 50 states with an attorney right in your area who is highly qualified in evictions.