Fighting an eviction is exhausting, time consuming and often costly. Unless you are certain to be successful, it may not be worth it to fight your landlord, and even if your success is guaranteed, your fight may have long-term repercussions you may wish to avoid. Consider the following issues prior to fighting a pending eviction.
Your Life after the Suit
Let’s say that you fight your landlord’s eviction and win, what then? Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that your relationship with your landlord will be a peaceful, happy one after the conclusion of the proceedings. After your win, nothing stops your landlord from being spiteful or even retaliating against you. Therefore, despite winning and not being evicted, you may find yourself living in an unbearable situation where your landlord is doing everything possible to get you to leave. Seriously consider what you think your life will be like after winning against your landlord and whether that is a life you would like to live. You may find that moving will make it easier on you.
The Cost of Fighting an Eviction
While many lawyers and tenant’s rights groups will represent you free of charge in your fight against an eviction, this does not mean that you will owe the lawyer nothing. Free representation is very rarely free, but instead just means that the lawyer’s bills and court fees will be collected at the conclusion of the suit either from the landlord or you. If you are successful, your lawyer can ask the court to order the landlord, as the losing party, to pay your lawyer’s fees and other costs. However, unless your state’s legislature has made this mandatory, the court is under no option to order this and you may still find yourself on the hook for your lawyer’s fees. Additionally, if you lose, do not be surprised to receive a bill in the mail from your lawyer for all of his provided services and other costs.
You’re Still Responsible for Rent
Even though you are engaged in a court battle, you are still obligated to pay rent to the landlord. This means that on top of other legal costs, your living costs stay the same. You could quickly find your expenses spinning out of control or that you need to dip into savings to make ends meet. Closely scrutinize your budget prior to deciding whether or not to fight an eviction to see if you can afford all possible costs.
The Effect on Your Credit
An eviction on your credit report can severely impact your ability to rent another apartment. Unfortunately, even being successful may cause problems, as the mere existence of an eviction history could cause future landlords to be cautious or unwilling to rent to you. If your fight is unsuccessful, the eviction will remain on your credit for years, affecting everything from your future renting potential to credit cards and loans. It may be smarter and easier for you to move out of your current apartment and avoid the eviction all together to prevent any future impact on your life. Consider speaking to your landlord and leaving the apartment prior to initiating a fight.
An eviction is extremely stressful. Unfortunately, even if you know you are being wrongfully evicted, it may not be worthwhile for you to fight the proceedings. Seriously consider your life after being successful and the impact on your credit and future prior to making the decision to fight your landlord’s suit.