What is an Eviction?

by Steffi Cook | Updated: Oct 2, 2020

An eviction is something you never want to experience. It’s the legal process of removing a tenant from their rental property initiated by the landlord. Eviction notices can be issued by property owners for a variety of reasons, but the most common one is the tenant not paying rent.

Keep in mind that an eviction notice doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve been evicted. It can sometimes serve as a warning requesting an action to be taken prior to actually enforcing it. Put differently, not all eviction notices result in actually being evicted.

NOTE: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a temporary halt on evictions through Dec. 31, 2020 to control the further spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Renters are still responsible for paying rent, but can't be evicted due to nonpayment for the rest of 2020. Review all of the information around the CDC Eviction Moratorium and what it means for you here.

How do I get an eviction notice? 

As mentioned, the main reason notices are issued is because tenants haven’t paid rent. They can also be issued for violating lease guidelines. For example, if your lease states that your rental doesn’t allow smoking in the actual unit but you smoke in it anyway, this is a lease violation. A lease violation must be proven with pictures or security video. Being involved with criminal activity is also another way to receive an eviction notice.

State laws around eviction 

Each state has its own set of eviction laws, so it’s important you know the ones that pertain to you. Some states favor landlords, while others are more tenant-friendly. For example, California eviction laws favor tenants instead of landlords, while Texas eviction laws are more landlord-friendly. Some states also have their own city-specific laws that override state laws, so make sure to check and see if this situation applies to you.

How do you fight it?

In most cases, you’ll have the opportunity to fix the issue. Pay the necessary rent amount or deal with the issue stated in the notice. However, there are a few select instances where a landlord can evict you without giving you the chance to fix the violation. Thankfully, these no-cure notices aren’t issued often, but they can be for the safety of the surrounding community. These include selling or distributing drugs, domestic violence and criminal activity.

Can you rent somewhere else after being evicted?

An eviction can stay on your public record for up to 7 years. After this time period has passed, it won’t show up on your rental history and credit report.

It will be more difficult to rent while you have an eviction on your credit report and within your rental history. However, it’s not impossible to find another suitable place to live in. Many independent landlords can rent to whoever they chose at their own discretion, regardless if that individual has faced an eviction. We recommend focusing on finding rentals owned by these landlords to find a new place to call home. Explain to them your situation and that you’re committed to never making the same mistake again. Providing references, proving you're financially able to pay rent and getting a co-signer to assist you with payments if necessary are great ways to prove yourself and show you’ve moved on from your past.

Do all you can to prevent being served an eviction notice — and even worse, being evicted. It’s important to know your rights as a tenant during this process and make sure you’re not being taken advantage of.

The information contained in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or financial advice.  Readers are encouraged to seek professional financial or legal advice as they may deem it necessary.

Categories: Coronavirus, Renters

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