Read This if You're Being Evicted With Children

Chloe Meltzer

December 01, 2021

Summary: Are you being evicted with children? Not sure where you're going to move next? Find out how you can fight an eviction and stay in your home.

It can be an extremely difficult time if you cannot pay your bills and need to support your children. As of recent months, millions of families are facing the threat of eviction due to the rent moratoriums ending, and the declining economy. Whether you have been making partial payments, but are being told to make payments in full, you are at threat for eviction, or you have been fighting but are officially being evicted, it can be heartbreaking. Read this if you're being evicted with children.

Although it depends on the state, in some states you may have protection against the eviction if you have made partial payments. For example, in California, the law protects tenants from eviction if they have paid at least ¼ of their rent between September 2020 and September 2021. Additionally, you cannot be evicted over any rent owed from March 2020 to August 2020.

Despite this, it is only valid if you have responded to all eviction notices and signed a “declaration of COVID-19-related financial distress”. In other states, it may be different. Although technically there may be laws to protect you from eviction, starting November 1 you may be subject to a lawsuit in small claims court.

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Find out if you qualify for rent relief

There is a lot of government aid available to those who qualify. To qualify, you must state, under penalty of perjury, that you were impacted by the pandemic, and you make less than 80% of the median income in the area.

It may seem simple, but you do need proof. You will be asked to show either your 2020 tax returns, as well as a W-2 tax form, current pay stubs, and proof of being in a subsidy program.

How to delay an eviction

It is good to note that eviction proceedings are different in every state. Generally, they will follow the same steps, and you can abide by the same process. Delaying an eviction is temporary, and you will eventually be evicted if you do not pay. Despite this, it will give you a bit of time.

If you have received an eviction notice, you should attempt to speak with your landlord. It is expensive for both you and the landlord to go through with a complete eviction. Most likely, they will wish to settle this outside of the courts if possible.

If your landlord is willing to settle, you may be able to stop the eviction if you meet their terms. This might include paying rent, or stopping whatever behavior they are evicting you for. If you cannot find common ground to stay in your home, they may consider extending the date for when you should move out.

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What you need to know about eviction notices

If your landlord decides to evict you, the first step in the eviction process is written notice. This will explain why you are being evicted and will give you a period in which to leave by. There are four types of eviction notices:

  • Three-day notice to pay rent
  • Three-day notice to cure (fix lease violation)
  • Three-day unconditional quit notice (move out)
  • Thirty-day or 60-day notice to quit (move out within period allotted)

This is a legal notification and you need to take it seriously. If you are not automatically evicted, then you will be when it runs out. Additionally, if you do not listen to the notice then your landlord is legally able to bring a lawsuit against you. This can be weeks or months, but eventually, you will get an official eviction by the sheriff.

Although they cannot forcibly take you out of your home, it will look bad on your credit report. You will be considered a squatter, and the apartment can be boarded up, with your possessions taken if you leave for the afternoon. You may never be able to obtain another lease after an eviction.

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Stay in your home by complying with the eviction notice

If you are being evicted for not paying rent or violating the lease, then your hands may be tied. This will be written obviously in your eviction notice. If you can pay your rent or correct the violation, then in many states the landlord can no longer proceed with the eviction.

If you are not able to comply with the eviction notice then you should see if you can arrange to pay later. If your landlord will not agree to this, you will need to prepare to leave.

How to defend yourself if you're being evicted with children

If you do not comply with the eviction notice, you cannot come to an agreement with your landlord, and there is no reasoning, then your landlord may end up filing the eviction lawsuit with the court. At this point, you will be given paperwork, and you will be required to file an answer with the courts. This answer can allow you to deny the statements your landlord has said if you feel they are untrue, or unfair. You can put any defenses you have against the eviction. This might include the landlord shutting off your utilities, or the housing being unliveable.

The answer must be filed if you wish to postpone, or eventually, stop the eviction. If you do not file an answer, then you will immediately lose the case, the landlord will win an eviction against you, and you will be evicted.

If you do file an answer promptly, a trial will be scheduled. You must attend the trial and restate your defenses. At the end of the trial, there will be a decision regarding your eviction. Even if you do not have any defenses, you must attend the trial. Especially if you have children, you may be given additional time or mercy. It is good to note that even if you are given more time, you will continue to be responsible for the rent owed during your stay.

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How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

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