Wrongful Eviction Lawsuit Lawyers
What Is an Eviction?
An eviction is a legal process to remove a tenant from possession of a residential or commercial property. In order to legally evict a tenant, the landlord usually must file an unlawful detainer lawsuit. An unlawful detainer lawsuit has very strict procedural rules that must be followed by the landlord to successfully evict a tenant.
What Is a Wrongful Eviction?
A wrongful eviction is an eviction of a tenant by a landlord who did not follow the state and city statutory requirements for eviction. When a landlord evicts a tenant, the law of the state and the city must be followed or the landlord faces a lawsuit for wrongful eviction. Almost every state prohibits landlords from utilizing self help evictions and provides penalties for landlords who break the law.
What are Some Examples of Acts that May Constitute a Wrongful Eviction?
Any landlord who takes the law into their own hands to scare or force a tenant off may face a wrongful eviction lawsuit. Some of the most common acts by landlords that lead to wrongful eviction lawsuits are:
- Threats to the tenants health or safety
- Intimidation of the tenant
- Shutting off the tenant’s utilities such as water, heat, electricity, and gas
- Attempts to physically remove the tenant, including changing the locks or putting the tenants property on the street
- Any other action forbidden by state or city statute
What Is a Wrongful Eviction Lawsuit?
A wrongful eviction lawsuit is a lawsuit brought by an evicted tenant against the landlord who evicted him for not following the state and city laws regarding eviction. Any landlord who does not follow the state and city eviction procedures is subject to a potential lawsuit for wrongful eviction and may be sued for actual money loses and for penalties such as treble damages.
Is the Tenant’s Breach of the Lease Agreement or Failure to Pay Rent a Defense to a Wrongful Eviction Lawsuit?
The fact that the tenant did not pay rent, destroyed the rental property, or otherwise acted disgracefully and offensively will not be a defense to a wrongful eviction lawsuit. A landlord must always follow the eviction laws of the state and city the rental property is located.
Do I Need a Real Estate Lawyer for My Wrongful Eviction Issue?
Landlord tenant law is very complex, varies by city, and is constantly undergoing changes. A real estate lawyer will be able to advise you of the exact rules your state and city has regarding wrongful evictions and can protect your rights, whether you are an owner trying avoid a wrongful eviction lawsuit or a tenant pursuing a wrongful eviction lawsuit.
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Last Modified: 06-04-2009 10:16 AM PDT
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