If you or your loved ones are perhaps involved in criminal or civil legal proceedings and you are also facing being evicted from your apartment and possibly needing to look for a new place to live, you’re compounding your stress levels but, believe it or not, it’s all doable.
As you know, you’ll either need to speak with a qualified, private local attorney in re: the criminal matter and, in civil matters, you may be qualified to have Legal Aid or their equivalent help you.
Regarding your apartment woes, these, too, can be handled with a little legal know-how.
Evictions – What You Need To Know
Are you being told that you have to move from your apartment? Does it seem to you that your landlord has no grounds on which to force you to vacate?
Do you wish to fight the eviction?
If you want to go to court to protect your rights, individual states provide this opportunity – with differing laws and grounds of your own on which you may base your case.
In many states, for instance, there are defenses which center around the state’s “termination notice”. This is basically the procedure/form letter which a landlord in that state is required to provide, in certain situations, in order for the tenant to vacate.
As you may imagine, many tenants don’t wish to fight the order to vacate; they may decide that the notice suits them perfectly to have to move from the premises. Or, they may not wish to be inconvenienced by seeking redress in the court systems.
For whatever the reason, the occupant is more than ready to move on, and the landlord is free to rent his or her unit to someone else.
However, if the tenant feels that his or her rights are being trampled, they may present a “defense argument” at the eviction hearing. This usually serves the purpose of allowing the tenant to stay a bit longer.
Do I Stand A Chance of Convincing My Landlord To Change His Mind? He’s Already Started Eviction Proceedings.
Yes, you do stand a good chance of working things out in an amiable manner so that the result is pleasing to both parties.
In many states, it’s not uncommon for tenants and landlords who are seeking lawful eviction procedures to negotiate. This may be the case because it is determined pretty early on in the proceedings that the landlord doesn’t have a valid reason to push the eviction.
In this case, he or she may determine that it suits him or her to extend the lease, or to draw up a completely new one…at least until such time as he or she has the legal right to demand that the tenant vacate the premises.
What Are Some Cases Where The Courts Will Side With The Tenant?
In many cases the courts will find that it is unlawful for the owner of the apartment to try to give the boot to tenants who attempted to stand up for their legal rights. The courts will see the notice to vacate as a retaliation effort.
Too, the courts usually won’t side with a landlord who (perhaps as a tactic to seek vacancy) tries to introduce new rules or regulations which a) aren’t in the original lease and b) are unreasonable.
An example of this might if the apartment landlord writes a letter to the tenant/occupant requesting $400 more per month. This is especially the case when the lease was written in such a manner that mention was made of a fixed rate.
Another example: what if your landlord, maybe in a last-minute bid to influence you in such a manner that you decide to leave, introduces verbiage that was never in the original agreement…and which makes your burden more onerous?
In this case, the courts will probably pass down a decision that trying to evict you for terms which were not a part of the lease agreement which you signed when you first moved in, are not lawful.
An exception might be made if the terms were not altered greatly by the new regulations, or if you, the tenant, had first been given fair and timely notice of said new regulations.
Let’s say, for instance, that your landlord suddenly indicates that he or she wants to have you perform a large part of the maintenance tasks (which formerly fell to his or her superintendent).
Were these terms a part of your original rental agreement? If not, they most likely cannot be upheld.
Finally, in most cases a landlord cannot take it into his own hands to try and evict you forcibly by having the locks changed or by turning off utilities.
Always read your rental agreement, lease, or addendum, before agreeing to unfamiliar terms. In your case, you may be resigning the lease, if your landlord has agreed to extend the original term.
However, if you’ve decided it is in everybody’s best interest to move on to bigger and brighter pastures, as it were, exercise the same caution when signing a landlord-tenant agreement for the first time.