How to Fight a Wrongful Eviction

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Unfortunately, wrongful eviction of tenants happens. While there is very little you can do to prevent your landlord from beginning an eviction process, you can fight against eviction and win. The following tips will assist you in your fight against a vindictive landlord.

Ask an Attorney

Believe it or not, hiring a lawyer may be one of the easiest ways to fight a wrongful eviction that could possibly not cost you a single cent. Pursuant to your state’s laws, a landlord found by a court to have wrongfully evicted a tenant may be required to pay the tenant’s legal fees. This means that if you take your landlord to court for a wrongful eviction and win, the landlord will be responsible for paying all of the court costs and your lawyer’s fees.

Your local attorney referral service, which should be listed in a phone book, can provide you the names of attorneys who practice landlord-tenant litigation. Often, these attorneys will meet with you at no charge to review your case and determine whether you have a valid claim against the landlord. If the attorney agreed to represent you, he would then work at little to no cost to you and recover his expenses and fees at the end of the case. However, this may not always be the situation, so be sure to ask how the attorney is paid and what his fees are prior to agreeing to hire him.

Contact Your Local HUD Office

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) prohibits discrimination against tenants based on religion, national origin, familial status and several other aspects. A claimed violation of these laws is considered very serious and will be investigated by your local housing authority and possibly the HUD. Your local housing authority should be able to provide you the forms and other assistance for making a claim for wrongful eviction. In cases of claimed discrimination, you may also want to hire an attorney. The same rules for paying the attorney may apply, but you should check nevertheless.

Warn the Landlord

Hopefully, you will have been keeping records of your payments and contact with your landlord throughout your renting the apartment. If so, you will have ample evidence that you are being wrongfully evicted. If you are still living in the apartment and have not yet contacted an attorney, you might consider presenting your evidence to the landlord to see if he will cease the proceedings. Do not give the landlord the documents, but instead write a letter containing the information you are in possession of, state that you have evidence of this information and finish by refuting his claims that you need to be evicted. You can include copies of any of your records, but, again, do not give him the originals.

Take Your Claim to Court

While it may be helpful, you do not necessarily have to hire an attorney to take your landlord to court. Depending on your state, you can bring a lawsuit against your landlord for a wrongful eviction in either small claims or county court. The clerk of the court will be able to assist you with the paperwork you need to file. However, it is still a good idea to notify your local housing authority office that you are filing the case even if you do not hire an attorney.

Wrongful eviction is a terrible occurrence, but one that sometimes cannot be avoided depending on the landlord’s malice. Fortunately, there are governmental organizations and attorneys that are willing and ready to assist a wrongfully evicted tenant.

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6 Responses to “How to Fight a Wrongful Eviction”

  1. February 11, 2012 at 10:55 am, Christine Foree said:

    I would like the opportunity to request your assistance, in what is an eviction due to landlord harassment, retaliation, discrimination and failure to respect human rights.
    How do you find out the appeal has been denied?
    How long do you have to vacate the premises after the appeal has been denied?
    If you file your own appeal without an attorney are you entitled to the same information and due process?
    Thank you,
    Christine Foree

    Reply

  2. April 12, 2013 at 10:52 pm, a.c. said:

    I understand iam going through the same thing for reporting to code enfocemnt

    Reply

  3. June 11, 2013 at 5:42 am, Angel Casará s said:

    My land lord trow me from my apartment without eviction notes just with hes ftirnds that work for the citu og oaklnd police chamge lock and stop me for getting my proerty my rent wad do on the irst of thos moth have benn lockdown from the apartment gor treet weeks now i dont lnow wjat to do please can u advice me on what to do luí

    Reply

  4. October 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm, Star Fox said:

    Angel Casra, you need to go to the court and tell the civil clerk there that you want to file a law suit.

    they can’t put you out like that, no matter what, they was supposed to take you to court.

    it’s a shame how people take advantage of others. Take advantage of the self help at your local court house,,,,go tell them how this happened, their mouths will drop.

    don’t be afraid to file the necessary paperwork and stand in front of a judge.

    Reply

  5. December 02, 2013 at 1:57 am, p munoz said:

    I’m currently in a situation where there are 3 tenants (including myself) who all signed a lease agreement. One of the tenants use to be my friend but now we are no longer friends anymore..what is happening is that she continuously locks the dead bolt from the inside preventing me from coming into the home (the key that was supplied to us from landloard does not work the deadbolt from outside,can only be locked from inside.)What can I possibly due…I have already spoke to several police officers in our county about this, which I know to call them if this happens again…but I want to know what can I legally do!!! The only thing I can think of is informing our landloard of this situation and find out what legal actions he can take against this??

    Reply

  6. May 25, 2014 at 12:07 am, Stephanie said:

    I am a resident at west wind apartments for two years no problem what so ever I have been working everyday my girls have been gone as well I come home check my mail like I do everyone and I have this eviction notice saying I have to vacate within ten days and I’m not understanding why I pay my rent and utilities I’m at a loss for words help please what should I do

    Reply

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