How to Stop Eviction Lawyers
Chloe Meltzer | December 02, 2022
Summary: Are you at risk for eviction? Learn how to stop eviction lawyers and remain in your home.
If you are at risk for eviction it is a serious matter. Losing the roof over your head can be the difference between safety and security. Although laws vary based on the state you live in, your landlord cannot just go to court and obtain an order to evict you. There are rules, laws, and regulations that they must go through in order to start this process.
For example, a landlord must first terminate a tenancy with a notice. This should explain why you are being evicted, and give you a time period to either fix the problem or move out. If you are not able to cure the problem or refuse to, then at the end of the time period, the landlord can file to begin the eviction process. At this point, they have most likely hired an eviction lawyer.
There are steps you can take to stop or delay the eviction process, but it is essential you respond to the notice and take action quickly.
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Understanding an eviction notice
Different states have different laws, and in some areas, an eviction notice is referred to as a termination notice. This can be confusing, and there are also different types of eviction notices. Despite this, they all generally mean the same thing: your landlord wants to end your lease and is asking you to move out. Each type of notice has a different meaning based on the state or local laws.
Types of eviction notices
- Notice to cure or quit: In some states, tenants are allowed a certain amount of time to fix the breach of the lease. Breaches can be not paying rent, but can also be another type of lease violation. This might include having a pet despite being against the rules of the building. There is usually a set amount of time outlined in the notice.
- Unconditional notice to quit: If you receive this notice it does not give you a chance to fix your problem. Instead, you will not be given a second chance, and you will need to respect the notice to leave your home. In some states, it is legal to serve an unconditional notice to quit as soon as rent is late. Other states do not necessarily allow this, and only allow this type of notice in severe circumstances.
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How to stop eviction lawyers
If you have received an eviction notice but want to top your landlord from serving you with a lawsuit, you may be able to do so. There are a few methods to stop your landlord from filing an eviction lawsuit:
- If you have been given a notice to cure or quit, then you can simply pay your rent or fix the lease violation. This should be done before the deadline. If you have cured what is in the notice, then you cannot be evicted.
- If you are unable to pay the rent or unwilling to fix the violation, you can move out before the deadline.
- If you will be able to fix the violation or pay the rent but need more time, consider asking. If the landlord agrees, then you should get this in writing.
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Common Defenses to an Eviction Lawsuit
If you are not able to move out by the deadline given to you, or you do not fix the violation, then your landlord can file an eviction lawsuit. If you want to delay this, you will need to showcase evidence to the courts for why you should not be legally evicted.
If you need to generate your defense, you should look into why the lawsuit has been brought upon you in the first place. If you disagree with why you are being sued, you can bring this to the courts and make your case. Be sure to have physical evidence to back it up.
- Improper Procedure. This process requires that your landlord has followed all laws pertaining to tenants. If they do not follow these laws, then you can ask the court to dismiss the lawsuit.
- Error in Serving Documents. If your landlord filed a summons and complaint but did not properly deliver this to you, then it may not be a legal lawsuit. Different states have different laws regarding the delivery of the lawsuit.
- Improperly Filled Out Court Forms. If an eviction is being tried in a small claims court and the landlord made a mistake on the form, then it may be an invalid lawsuit. In this situation, you may be able to have it dismissed.
- Uninhabitable Premises. Should your home be uninhabitable and unsafe to live in, then you can not only use this as a defense but also countersue. It may also convince your landlord to revoke the case. An uninhabitable residence might include a lack of running water, lack of heat under 40 degrees F, or pests such as vermin.
- Partial Rent Payment Accepted. Most states have laws in place that state when a landlord accepts a partial rent payment that they waive their right to evict you during that month.
- Illegal Housing Discrimination. If you believe that your landlord is treating you differently than other tenants and is attempting to evict you due to your race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or disability, then this is a great defense. Other discrimination might be due to gender identification, marital status, and source of income.
The best opportunity to stop eviction lawyers is to learn the laws surrounding eviction in your state. Each state has different laws, and some cities favor tenants over landlords. Always be sure to know your legal rights, and fight for your right to remain living in your home.
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