Money & Finance

03.19.2018 | 2 Minute Read | By Bekah Steenbock

What exactly is an eviction?

An eviction is the forcible removal of a resident by the landlord. You can’t be kicked out because you have a personality clash with your property owner. An eviction only occurs when the resident has breached the terms of the lease. There must be documented justifiable cause for the dispossession or the eviction will not stand up in court.

This is why it’s important to make sure you understand ALL the terms of your lease. Read about translating that lease from legalese to everyday English.

Evictions are easy to avoid

It’s simple: follow the terms of your lease and you won’t be evicted. Be a good neighbor and pay your rent and you can stay in your home. An eviction is the worst case scenario and no landlord wants to evict their tenant. Often, they will do everything they can to avoid that path. They are expensive for both tenants and landlords. If you’re in a jam and can’t make rent, try to work something out with the property manager. It’s much easier for both of you to go on a payment plan than to go through the eviction process.

What is a 5-day notice?

A 5-day notice is essentially a documented warning.  It is not an official eviction notice, but it means you’re headed in that direction if you don’t change your ways. If you’ve received a 5-day notice you have violated the terms of your lease. But, it means you have 5 days to fix the situation. Keep in mind that this notice will stand up in court so you need to take it seriously. The most common reason landlords issue 5-day notices is because the rent hasn’t been paid. However, landlords can legally issue them for any lease violation.

The eviction process

This is the last thing you ever want to go through. But, it doesn’t happen overnight, and it won’t take you by surprise either. There is a legal eviction process that must be followed by the landlord for an eviction to be allowed by a judge.

  1. An accurate 5-day notice must be issued to the tenant. The name, 5-day expiration date, address, and any other information must be 100% correct to move forward with the eviction.
  2. The delivery of the 5-day notice must follow the eviction rules of the state. Most frequently, these are delivered by certified letter.
  3. Proof that the 5-day notice has not been satisfied by the due date.

If you don’t satisfy the requirements within 5 days, the next step is to go to court. The landlord will submit all documentation proving a lease of the breach. The judge will determine if the landlord has grounds to carry out the eviction. If there is a mistake in the paperwork or there is not enough proof of a lease violation the case is dismissed. Otherwise, the judge will allow the landlord to move forward with the removal of the tenant.

The final step in the eviction process is when all your belongings are taken out of the apartment. This process is supervised by the police. Depending on your state laws, your landlord may have to put your items into storage for a set period before they are given away. In that situation, you would be responsible for any storage and disposal charges.

The last thing you want to experience is an eviction. They damage your credit and your ability to rent another apartment. Evictions are the exception, not the rule. Most residents don’t even go on the radar for eviction.  If you are a responsible tenant who follows the rules then you have nothing to worry about.

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