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What is the eviction process?

The eviction process can be a troubling experience for renters who rely on the stability of the home they rent. As a consequence, it is important for renters to understand the eviction process and when a landlord may be able to evict them. In general, to evict a renter, a landlord must provide notice, usually in writing, and must follow certain formalities to evict the renter from their home.

Once the renter has been served with a notice of eviction, they have different options depending on the circumstances. If the renter does not wish to move out, they can correct whatever behavior the landlord is alleging violates the lease and see if the landlord is willing to continue with the lease agreement after the alleged violation of the lease has been corrected. If the renter does not wish to move out, they can remain in the unit. The options available to the renter may depend on the type of notice they receive.

If the renter does not vacate, the landlord must file a lawsuit to evict the renter. The lawsuit is normally referred to as an unlawful detainer lawsuit. To prevail, the landlord must prove that the renter is in violation of their lease. The eviction process can vary by state so it is important to be familiar with the process in your state. In some states, renters must be supplied with multiple notices through an eviction process.

Reasons a renter may be evicted can include paying rent late on multiple occasions; violating a term or condition of the lease on repeated occasions or failing to correct the violation; engaging in illegal activities on the leased property; or seriously damaging the property. In some circumstances, a landlord may seek to evict without cause which is why, again, it is important to know the laws in your state. Special rules in this regard may also apply to rent controlled properties.

It is possible to defend against a possible eviction in a variety of ways. As always, it is important for renters to be familiar with their legal rights and how to go about enforcing them when needed.

Source:, "Tenant Eviction: What You Should Know as a Renter," Accessed June 16, 2017

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