Receiving an eviction notice is one of the most stressful things a person can go through. Your living space is a basic human need. Being told you need to evacuate the premises can be an overwhelming experience. The eviction process is extensive, complicated, and takes an emotional toll on the person who is being evicted.
You may have questions like “when is an eviction valid?” or how long do you have to move out after an eviction notice?” Depending on the state you live in, eviction rules and regulations will vary. This fluctuation is because evictions are governed by local laws, state laws, federal laws, and court rules. Despite the differences across locations, some general guidelines may be beneficial to familiarize yourself with.
Rule of Valid Explanation
If you are being evicted without an explanation, it is unlawful. The valid explanation rule states that landlords have to have a valid reason for evicting you and that they must provide that reason to you. If a resolution is possible, the instructions to do so must be included as well. Until you have failed to comply with the given resolution, the eviction process cannot begin.
Most commonly, eviction notices are paired with a thirty-day grace period. Nevertheless, your eviction period may vary depending on state and local laws. To be safe, make sure you read your eviction notice carefully from top to bottom. Identify the reason you are being evicted, any possible resolutions to stop the process, and how long you have to correct the issue.
In nearly every state, it is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant for any action within the tenant’s legal right. As mentioned previously, eviction laws vary by location, so it is best to check your local laws. Lawful actions that a landlord may attempt to retaliate over include exercising your First Amendment right by organizing a tenant union or submitting complaints to building, health, or code inspectors.
Suppose you involve legal services or a government agency due to unlawful or unsafe conditions. In that case, a landlord cannot retaliate against you by evicting you. Anti-retaliation laws are in place to offer general protection to tenants. Depending on your specific situation, it may be best to research your local rights or consult with an experienced tenant’s rights attorney.
Unconditional Quit Notices
In some extreme cases, an eviction notice may not be accompanied by a time frame nor instructions regarding the conditions that must be met to avoid eviction. This type of notice is referred to as an unconditional quit notice. If you have received this type of eviction notice, you still must be notified of the reasoning behind it. Even when serving you with an unconditional quit notice, the landlord must outline the issue that gave rise to it.
In many states, unconditional quit notices are unlawful. Exceptions to laws against unconditional quit notices include repeated violation of the rental agreement, severely damaged property, or engaging in illegal activity on the premises. If none of the above have occurred and you haven’t violated any significant terms on your agreement, your unconditional quit notice may not be valid.
Most commonly, evictions come to be after the nonpayment of rent or violation of the lease agreement. These issues are usually correctable.
The eviction process can also be burdensome to the landlord, so they may be willing to work out the issue with you rather than go through the complex process of evicting you. In any case, it can be challenging to navigate the eviction process without the help of a trusted legal professional. Legal fees can be expensive, so it may be in your best interest to do as much research as possible before retaining representation. Make sure to use reputable websites like freeadvice.com to find legal information backed by experts in the field.