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Evictions and Restraining Orders

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Last updated 11/6/2019

Not every tenant has an ideal relationship with their landlord, or vice versa. If a landlord wants to evict a tenant, but a tenant does not want to leave, a restraining order may allow either party to prevent or facilitate an eviction.

There are several types of restraining orders and each has its own legal purpose. Although it is usually not the first course of action, a restraining order can be used to prevent a tenant from living on a landlord's property. Additionally, a tenant can also get a temporary restraining order (TRO) to temporarily halt an eviction.

Harassment Restraining Orders (HROs) for Landlords

If you are a landlord and you have reason to believe your tenant is a threat to your safety/the safety of your friends and family, you can petition a court to issue a harassment restraining order against your tenant.

What a court orders a harasser to do/not do depends on the situation. The court may order your tenant to stop calling you, or to stay a specified distance from you and your property. If you get an HRO against a tenant who lives in your house, the tenant may have to immediately vacate the premises.

If you feel threatened enough by your tenant to seek a restraining order, you may have already started the eviction process. However, evictions can take time and an HRO may be a faster way to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Temporary Restraining Orders for Tenants

If you are a tenant and you are convinced your landlord is trying to evict you unjustly, you may be able to ask a judge to issue a temporary restraining order to temporarily suspend the eviction process.

These TROs are a civic injunction—like a harassment restraining order—and the process for getting them can be complicated, so it may be worthwhile to seek out the advice of an experienced legal professional.

Types of Restraining Orders

There are many types of restraining orders and different orders are appropriate in different circumstances. Some restraining orders include,

The differences between the aforementioned orders are significant. A TRO is a civil injunction in civil court; an Order for Protection is a family court order, usually protecting one member of a family from another family member; a Harassment Restraining Order is similar to an OFP, but an HRO is a civic injunction used for non-family members.

Next Steps

Contact a qualified real estate attorney to help you navigate any landlord-tenant issues.

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