An eviction is the legal process of removing a renter from a rented property against their will. If a person’s lease is not renewed, it is not an eviction, even though the renter still has to vacate the property. A landlord must file in court to begin eviction processes.

There are different kinds of evictions. One is called an owner-move-in eviction. This is when the landlord asks the tenant to leave because the landlord wants to move in and occupy the premises.

Other evictions are for violations of the lease agreement. Most often evictions are issued for nonpayment of rent.

What Are the Legal Steps of the Eviction Process?

The landlord usually has to give notice to the tenant that unless certain conditions are met, most often payment of the rent in full, eviction proceedings will begin. This notice has to be delivered to the tenant or fixed to the door of the rented property.

Once this notice has been issued, the landlord will attend a formal court hearing, where the judge will issue the right to evict if the landlord’s case against the tenant is sound. The tenant can also attend the court hearing.

If the tenant does not willingly pay the past due amount, or leave the premises, the court can order law enforcement to intervene. Tenants who do not vacate the premises willingly can be forcefully evicted if necessary.

How Can I Fight an Eviction?

The easiest way to fight an eviction is simply to stick to the terms of the lease. If this is a matter of payment, prioritize the past due amount so that you are able to pay it off by the deadline given by the landlord and remain in the rented property.

You can attend the court hearing and make a case to the judge if you believe the landlord to be in error regarding the case against you.

If you are evicted and you believe that you should not have been, you can file a wrongful eviction lawsuit. You can also file a lawsuit if the eviction was done in an illegal manner.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Yes. Landlord-tenant law is complex. Anyone in the middle of a dispute over a rented property should speak to a real estate lawyer to get the best legal advice with regard to their case.