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How Do I Stop an Eviction?

A notice of eviction posted on an apartment door.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2014
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There are a number of different ways to stop an eviction, and the best way typically depends on what point in the eviction process you have reached. You may also have different options available to you depending on the country or region in which you live, so you should consult an attorney with specific knowledge about where you live for more precise information. In general, however, you can usually stop an eviction by paying rent that is due or by coming to an agreement with the property owner. You may also be able to stop an eviction by fighting the eviction in court, as long as you can prove your defense.

One of the first things you should know is that it is typically illegal for the property owner to do something such as shut off your power or water, or change the locks on your door. If a property owner does something like this to force an eviction, then you typically can bring a lawsuit against him or her. An eviction is a legal process like any other, so the proper steps must be taken by the person trying to evict you or else he or she may break the law.

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Assuming the proper steps are being taken, then you will likely be given a certain grace period in which you can pay your rent to prevent or stop an eviction. This is usually between five and ten days, and you should be made aware of this time frame by the property owner in writing. As long as you pay your rent and any late fees stipulated in your rental agreement in this time, then you can stop an eviction procedure from moving forward. Once this time passes, however, the property owner can file paperwork for further eviction proceedings, often called an unlawful detainer suit, against you.

You should be notified of these proceedings through the mail by the courts, and usually by the property owner as well. Depending on your area and the property owner, you may still be able to stop an eviction at this point by paying any owed rent, late fees, and legal fees the property owner has incurred. Otherwise you can try to fight the eviction in court, and you will typically need to prove that the eviction is illegal in some way, either by demonstrating that you have not violated the terms of the lease in any way the property owner claims or by showing that the eviction itself is being done illegally.

In the US, it is illegal in most states for a property owner to try to evict you due to you demanding that repairs be made to the property or in retaliation for complaints you may have filed against him or her. If you can prove that the eviction is being done because of this type of issue, then you can stop an eviction by demonstrating that it is illegal. This can potentially open up a property owner to a counter suit on your behalf, for compensatory and punitive damages as well as for a waiver of future rent payments.

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