The landlord and tenant relationship do not always sail smoothly. While there are instances of a positive relationship between landlord and tenants, there are also cases where the relationship is pretty bad. In many cases and for many reasons, landlords may want their tenant to evict their property.
However, moving to a new place with all your belongings is not easy. This hassle seems more annoying when it is illegal eviction by landlord.
In such cases, you can take legal action against your landlord and get compensated for the damage they have caused. But before that, you should know about your rights as a tenant.
What are the Legal and Illegal Ways of Eviction?
Surely a landlord has the right to evict a tenant from their property. However, there are proper ways to do that. If done following the correct procedure, there is nothing much a tenant can do.
Otherwise, if a landlord does some unethical and illegal act due to the poor landlord-tenant relationship, the landlord can be brought to justice by the tenants for their unacceptable actions.
Legal Ways of Eviction
If a landlord evicts a tenant legally, the tenants get enough time to settle in a new place or resolve any issues with the landlord.
A landlord can terminate a tenancy and send a notice to the tenants to evict the place. They can send termination notice with or without stating a reason.
If they choose not to mention any reason for the eviction notice, they must provide the tenants with 30 to 60 days to vacate the place. However, mentioning the reason for termination notice might be mandatory in some cases.
Filing an eviction lawsuit is more like the next step after sending a termination notice to tenants if they refuse to vacate the property. In that case, the legal procedure for the landlord is to file a lawsuit as a complaint mentioning the facts in justifying the eviction notice and requesting rent or damages.
The landlord will let the tenant know about the lawsuit. If the tenants refuse to abide by the court’s verdict, they can be lawfully removed from the premises.
Illegal Eviction by Landlord
When landlords refuse to follow the legal guidelines for eviction and take matters into their own hands, it becomes illegal. Many landlords do that to avoid the time-consuming procedure of evicting a tenant legally. Sudden eviction can be detrimental for tenants, so they might not have other ways to defend themselves than taking legal actions against the landlords.
When a landlord terminates tenancy due to the tenant’s sex, age, race, religion, nationality, or disability, that is considered discriminatory eviction. Different states have laws protecting these people of the mentioned classes from discrimination.
As mentioned earlier, landlords and tenants do not always have the most cordial relationship, and frequently they get into arguments. However, that does not give the landlord the right to evict tenants from the premises.
If a landlord asks the tenant to vacate the property after a heated argument, the tenant can hire an eviction lawyer and report against the landlord. Tenants can also report to the housing authority or health department under retaliatory eviction if the landlord asks them to vacate the property rather than fixing the problems.
Eviction for Not Paying Rent until Health or Safety Issue is Resolved
A landlord can take legal action if the tenant does not pay rent. However, if the tenants refuse to pay rent because the landlord is not solving problems regarding health and safety, the landlords are at fault.
Eviction of Protected Tenant
Evicting protected tenants can be tricky. Some states and countries have laws regarding protected tenants. It can be considered illegal to evict protected tenants from a property.
Protected tenants can be people over a certain age or those who have lived in a place for more than a specified number of years. To evict protected tenants, the landlords need to show a good reason for eviction.
Things to do When Your Landlord is Evicting You Illegally
As a tenant, you must know the differences between legal and illegal eviction. If you can identify illegal eviction, you can sue the landlord for that. However, you need to consider a few things in that case.
You need to collect evidence for your claims. You need to take action as soon as possible. Different states have different time limitations for suing landlords.
You can take legal action if your landlord takes the self-help method. Moreover, there are several reasons for which you can sue your landlord, including wrongful eviction, assault, trespassing, libel, battery, slander, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. However, it would be best to consult an eviction lawyer in your state to know your options.
Compensation for Illegal Eviction
You can get compensated if you can prove that your landlord has illegally evicted you from a property and that it caused damage to your belongings or your life.
Therefore, you can claim both punitive and non-economic damages for the illegal eviction process. You can get up to two or three times more than your economic damage as compensation. The landlord will be penalized to pay for the damages.
The compensation amount can vary from state to state. Therefore, discussing compensation for illegal eviction with your local layer is ideal.
If you, as a tenant, have done nothing wrong or illegal, the landlord has no right to evict you without any reason. If he does, the wrongful act should not be tolerated as it violates the tenant’s human rights.
Now that you know what the things you should do when your landlord is evicting you illegally are, you can stand your ground and take necessary actions.