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.


18 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


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

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


    • January 05, 2017 at 1:52 am, Audrey Turner said:

      > im in the same situation. .i was evicted for calling code compliance due to a series of fire inmy home. I got evicted. Im so devastated just clean up my this. Hire attorney…they give you hell as well. Smh


  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


  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.


    • December 19, 2016 at 12:00 pm, Jason Sanders said:

      > I just had the same thing happen, I just got evicted completely illegally and have been on the freezing streets with my family for about a week now and just found out that none of us got any kind of paperwork or anything saying we had to be out plus they through out our belongings,so I think I should go tell them to unlock the gate to my house any information or input would be appreciated


  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??


  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


  7. October 18, 2016 at 1:41 pm, Donald Robinson said:

    I am in the process of being evicted by landlord stating that a young girl was in my home that was banned trying to harm herself and when the police arrived there was no young girl. Also the reason the police came to my home is for a welfare check on the young girl that used my address for correspondence because she was threating to herm herself at a local college and the Facility gave hem my address that was on her file.


  8. November 16, 2016 at 12:13 pm, Richard Ribble said:

    I was forced into court with no legal representation and lost everything! It was a brother in law type arrangement. The JP already had his mind made up before we even sat down at the hearing. Who should I contact in the federal government about this type of illegal abuse? I'm certain it should go to the attorney General however it will go directly to the back burner and I'm gonna be out in three days straight into a homeless shelter about 85 miles away


  9. November 23, 2016 at 8:50 am, Mary Simmons said:

    I would like the opportunity to request your assitance. In his do I go about filing a case. Which the person was not a Landlord but in court she was labor as a Landlord. To get this removed from my record because, of this I'm now homeless! Thanks!


  10. December 19, 2016 at 1:01 am, Arnold McCamey said:

    Living in a 55 plus apartment. Confirmed presence of mold. Technical reports confirming this were provided to the owner. Who disregarded the information. And evicted me anyway. A property owned and managed by 99 percent Hispanics. I am African American hearing disabled ! I need an attorney. To go to Superior Court. Never had a chance to see a judge. Armed with a report. And evidence !


  11. January 01, 2017 at 5:06 am, Ruby Bradley said:

    My lanlord are trying to evict me on a defective eviction notice file with the Courts. Obtained his attorney and request me to agree to some claimed back rent to get my place repaired. The attorney drew up a stipulation order and didn't agree to a wrot of possessio as a result if i was late on a payment. Suddenly the lanlord refused to except payment stating it was late. Had his attorney file an action with the Court to get a writ of possession and trying to evict me.


    • February 10, 2017 at 9:30 pm, Lee said:

      > hello i rent from aps im going through the same thing ive been here for 10 yrs they refused payment and now are trying to say reason for eviction is due to being late. Did you find anyone to help.


  12. January 03, 2017 at 9:43 am, Junior said:

    I'm currently in a situation where my landlord wants to evict us out of our apt complex being that there is a roach infestation in the building. It just happens to be same week my father passed. They mentioned that the rent for everyone else has gone up and they Been nice enough to keep the same rate being my father was in the condition that he was in before he passed. As soon as he passed they hit us up with a verbal eviction and threatened to have a notice of eviction up within a few days. When my father was in the condition that he was in they were suppose to bomb the apt for the bugs but being that my dad was basically on his death bed they didn't make that move. Now that he's gone instead of bombing the apt for bugs they rather kick us out and bring somebody else in that's willing to pay the higher rent. I feel as though that's wrong being I'm a tenant in the complex that's living in poor conditions they should have fixed the bug infestation problems as oppose to convicting us. Maintenance man came in the house to fix a clogged sink and seen there was bug a problem so he then told the manager and decided to file a report to the landlord. So I just want to know how I should go about it. Any feedback would definitely help. Thank you


  13. January 04, 2017 at 8:16 pm, Stephanie said:

    My landlord is trying to evict me because i had called the cops after a discovery of methanphetomine being produced in my basement. We had no access to the basement and the people were spotted after they had tried to break into our home. The people have not been repromanded as of yet, and they are accusing us of it. We do not know what to do about it and there is an ongoing investigation on the matter with our landlady evicting us in the process. We left the home upon recieving death threats on our lives and out kids lives, and we have nowhere to go. We know we cannot go back home, but we dont want an eviction of this sort on our record when we have done no such thing. please help


  14. January 10, 2017 at 11:36 am, Roxanne escutia said:

    Hi I need help in a wrongful eviction I was evicted by my landlord without a 30 day notice without any kind of notice and he change the door knobs and lock me out and do all my stuff outside on the curb I pay my rent every month never violated hard please can you please help me


  15. January 28, 2017 at 9:34 pm, rosemary james said:

    i am a disabled person, on section 8 housing and recently requested a reasonable accommadation from my landlord (parking closer to my front door due to mobility issues) only to find out that my landlord is exempt from complying with my requests for acccommadation because in washington state if a property owner owns fewer than 4 rental properties they are exempt from compliance with any and all requests for reasonable accommadation. i feel this is something that should be required by law to be disclosed to a disable renter prior to signing rental agreements only to discover they have just signed away all their rights. and as a result, my landlord has now repeatedly informed me i am free to move if im not happy. and there is nothing i can do about it. they cannot be held responsible for illegal or vindictive eviction or retaliation. just thought anyone out there with disabilities should know about this rare exemption and make sure that your potential landlord owns the appropriate number of rentals for you to get your fair housing rights.


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