As much as landlords may wish differently, one cannot simply kick an unruly tenant out of his or her apartment. A tenant's apartment is her home, after all, and states have specific procedures in place in order to protect a tenant's right to stay in their home. This section has basic information about the eviction process, which typically involves the filing of an "unlawful retainer" action in court. Although the process will mostly likely vary from state to state, this section provides useful information that is common to eviction processes across the country, intended for both landlords and tenants. Learn about how to start the eviction process or, if you are a tenant, learn about your rights as a renter.
Eviction for Cause
The majority of evictions are for a particular reason, or cause, such as failure to pay the rent or repeated violations of rental agreement. Regardless of the cause (unless it's criminal activity and law enforcement is involved), landlords must go through the eviction process that gives the tenant an opportunity to answer to the landlord's claims. There are three basic types of eviction notices that a landlord may send a tenant:
Eviction Without Cause
Landlords often can evict tenants who pay rent on time and otherwise honor the lease agreement, but must give the tenant typically 30 or 60 days in which to leave. But if you have a fixed-term lease (such as a one-year lease), the landlord must honor those terms before giving notice. As a practical matter, this means the landlord may serve an eviction notice (without cause) either at the end of the lease period or if it is a month-to-month lease.
Evicting a tenant without cause is not allowed, however, in rental units protected by rent control; this means the landlord must prove a legal reason for serving the eviction. Some states, including New Jersey and New Hampshire, do not allow landlords to evict without cause.
Defenses to an Eviction Notice
If you have been served with an eviction notice, you may have to start packing your things and looking for a new place to live. But first, you may want to look into your available defenses. These include the following:
Click on link below to learn more about the eviction process and the rights of the parties involved.