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What are Tenant's Rights During Eviction?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2016
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Some might assume that owning property that they rent out to others allows them to do what they want with it, even if it inconveniences the tenants. Fortunately for those who rent, tenants do have some rights, even if they stand to be evicted. Some of the tenant's rights during eviction include getting a certain amount of time to vacate the premises, finding out the reason for the eviction notice, and contesting the eviction in court. These rights can vary from state to state, but ignoring them can lead to legal trouble for the landlord.

It is necessary for the landlord to send an eviction notice to the property, either through a sheriff or certified mail. One of the main tenant's rights during eviction includes getting a proper notice rather than coming home to changed locks on the doors, or their belongings thrown outside. Typically, the eviction notice must allow the tenant five to ten days to either fix the problem or leave the property. Tenants with extenuating circumstances, such as those with young kids, job loss, or sick relatives residing with them, may apply for an Extension of Time due to hardship. If this is not requested and the tenant instead chooses to ignore the eviction notice, the sheriff may appear as an escort to ensure that the tenant leaves.

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The eviction notice needs to specify the reason for this action, as this is one of the tenant's rights during eviction. The notice may explain that the tenant is late paying rent, has pets that are not allowed according to the lease agreement, has caused damage to the property, is a danger to the community, or signed the lease under false pretenses. On the other hand, according to the tenant's rights during eviction, the landlord cannot evict just because he does not approve of the tenant's visitors, does not like the tenant, or similar subjective reasons.

No matter the reasoning for being evicted, one of the most important tenant's rights during eviction is the ability to go to court. A tenant can request an eviction appeal if he feels that there is no reason that he should be evicted. For example, he may be able to prove that he has not broken any rules, or at least show that the landlord has no evidence. The tenant may also provide proof that the landlord has not provided safe living conditions, such as refusing to offer or fix important necessities like ventilation, heating and cooling, toilets, water, or electricity. Some states may spell out additional rights, and so it is important for landlord and tenant alike to research the laws in one's own jurisdiction.

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RocketLanch8
Post 2

I live in a state where the landlords have most of the legal power and renters' rights are very limited. Proving things like an illegal "constructive eviction" can be extremely difficult. Once the landlord delivers the first eviction notice, the clock starts ticking for the tenant. I believe a tenant has the right to stop an eviction if full restitution is made, but by that point it might be better if that person just moved on to another property. Once the relationship between a landlord and a tenant gets strained like that, it's hard to feel comfortable again.

mrwormy
Post 1

I received an eviction notice one time when I was really young and really broke. I didn't know much about landlord or tenant rights, but I knew enough to ask him for a written reason for the eviction. He sent me a letter mentioning my past due rent and some damages he noticed. I wasn't about to fight him in court, so I just agreed to pack my things and move back in with my parents.

He really respected my renter's rights and didn't do anything crazy to my property, but I've heard stories about other landlords who changed locks or cut off the water supply just a day or two after issuing the first eviction notice.

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