Apartment Resources

Leases 101: Evictions

What is an eviction?
An eviction is a legal procedure that is applied by the landlord seeking to remove his or her tenant and reclaim the premises. The eviction process is regulated by state or local laws. Even if the tenant fails to make rent payment, the landlord cannot take matters into their own hands. He or she must follow the proper eviction procedures. It is important for tenants to know their rights and protections when they are faced with a threat of an eviction. The landlord must have legal grounds for evicting a tenant. The landlord must also have provided proper notification to the tenant. 

What are some circumstances that may lead to an eviction?
Nonpayment of rent
If the lease is in writing, it should contain a clause stating a due dates for rent payments, and if the tenant fails to make his or her payment, then there is sufficient grounds for the landlord to terminate the lease and begin the eviction process. If the lease is an oral agreement, the landlord must provide the tenant in writing the deadline for a full rent payment before the tenant can be evicted. If the tenant can prove that the landlord refused to take the full rent payment before the deadline passed, then the tenant can challenge the eviction in court. The tenant has a legal right to withhold rent without the threat of an eviction if the landlord is not fulfilling his obligations set by the lease. In most states, the tenant is required to provide a written notice that he or she intends to withhold rent if the problem is left unresolved. The landlord should be given a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem.

Tenant’s noncompliance to terms of agreement
The landlord is required to provide his or her tenant with a written notification of the violation, and the tenant must be given sufficient time to remedy the problem. If the violation is left unattended by the tenant within the reasonable period that was provided, then the landlord may choose to evict.

Lease has expired
Once the lease expires, the landlord is not required to renew your lease. He or she is able to ask the tenant to leave at any point in time. A written notice of the landlord’s wishes must be provided to the tenant before an eviction. If the tenant refuses to leave after the lease’s expiration date, the landlord has a right to evict.

There was no lease
If the landlord is renting out the premises on a month to month basis, then all he or she is required to do is provide a written notice one month before he or she evicts the tenant.

What are the consequences of an eviction?
Generally, an eviction will not have any direct affect on your credit history. However, if you are evicted due to reasons such as nonpayment of rent or nonpayment of a fee, this will be show up on your credit report. If you are evicted from your apartment, your name will be entered into a public database that is searchable by any future landlord. Even if you have a great credit history, the fact that your eviction is on public record may make it difficult for you to find another landlord willing to rent his or her apartment to you in the future.

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