An eviction notice is not fun for either the landlord or the tenant. It could lead to a nasty battle in and out of court, and end up costing both sides money and time. Here are 3 ways to defend yourself against an eviction notice, that can protect you before or during an an eviction proceeding:
1. Pay the Rent Owed
If you received an eviction notice on the grounds that you didn’t pay rent, then pay the rent and late fees in full prior to any eviction action. Preferably, pay within a short period after receiving the eviction notice. If the landlord accepts the rent, then you have a defense against any court proceedings. Paying the rent is full is often sufficient to resolve the issue between you and the landlord after receipt of an eviction notice. However, if this is the one excuse the landlord has been waiting for to kick you off the property, then you may have a fight on your hands.
2. Document Everything
An eviction notice is the first step a landlord takes towards taking legal action against a tenant. If you anticipate problems, write down summaries of all conversations and dealings with the landlord and document problems with the apartment. Take pictures or video of damages and repairs needed. Keep a record of any written communications sent to you by the landlord and copies of any you’ve sent. If you send a notice to the landlord for repairs and get no response, you may have to send one via Certified Receipt Mail through the post office. This requires the landlord to sign for the notice, which gives you proof that you notified the landlord and on what date.
3. Correct Violations
A landlord may give an eviction notice because you violated a term in the lease agreement. Many agreements will allow you to correct the violation in a short amount of time. If the landlord proceeds with taking you to court, you can defend yourself by proving that you stopped violating the lease upon receipt of the eviction notice. A landlord may just be sending you the notice to follow legal protocols without any intention of evicting you. However, you likewise have to remain formal in your approach, making sure you have proof that you’re no longer breaching the agreement.
One of the benefits to getting an eviction notice is time to make plans before the actual eviction proceedings begin. You could take the time find another place to live and move out, or fix any problems you’re having with the landlord. It’s much better to try to reach a resolution with your landlord because of the legal costs and other fees a landlord could recover from you by taking you to court. No matter how much you try to explain yourself, if you lose in court, an eviction will cause future landlords to take on other tenants in place of you.