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What to do when you've been served an eviction notice

Receiving an eviction notice can be one of the most stressful things to go through. However, do not panic, if you are a tenant who just got served with a notice to vacate, it does not mean that you need to move out immediately.

Below we gathered the options available to help you understand how to avoid eviction and make this experience less overwhelming.

1. Check the local laws

The most important thing to do if you’ve been served an eviction notice is to get informed. Keep in mind that the regulations governing evictions vary from state to state, so if you are looking into how to stop an eviction in California, make sure you check the local laws for it. For instance, there are cities across the US where rent controls are in effect and this could have a major impact on what you as a tenant can do.

2. Identify the type of notice

The type of eviction served by the landlord will tell you the reason why is trying to make you leave the property. Identifying the type of notice will help you, as a tenant, determine the actions you need to take in response to it. It can also help you figure out what kind of help is available and what documents you need to contest the notice.

3. Check what are the reasons for the eviction

The eviction reasons the landlord can use are several, however, these have to be per the legislation and follow certain protocols. The eviction notice must also contain the correct information, such as names or addresses, otherwise, it can be invalid.

An eviction process can be completed in five to eight weeks and the most common causes for it are related to the violation of some of the agreements in the tenancy contract:

  • Failure to pay rent
  • Criminal activity in the rental housing
  • Subletting if your lease does not allow this
  • Causing noise or other disturbances

4. Communicate with your landlord

You should not ignore the eviction notice and try to get in touch with your landlord as soon as possible. Also, try to negotiate if you have any outstanding rent to pay and settle your debt or have an agreement in place on the terms of payment. The landlord usually will get more losses and loss of income should they pursue an eviction lawsuit, so make sure you bring up the right arguments to your landlord when talking about what you plan to do next.

5. Attend a court hearing if it’s necessary

You have the right to file an affidavit/answer to the eviction during the notice period and the court will set a hearing, which usually takes place within a week. Make sure you attend the hearing, as failure to do so can result in the court granting the eviction. On the other hand, if the landlord fails to attend, the eviction will be denied and the court will decide in favour of the tenant.

The takeaway

Renting a property can come with certain downsides, especially if you are a tenant dealing with eviction. However, there are legislations in place which protect your rights as a tenant and if you follow some important steps, it can make the process less stressful. If you need help with how to stop an eviction notice, our team of experts is here to offer you helpful advice and guide you through this experience.

Call us today for more information!