A notice to move out does not have to be scary. Find out what you can do if your landlord gives you an Eviction Notice.

What you will find out:

If I get an Eviction Notice, can I stop the eviction?
What does a proper Eviction Notice have to say?
Will being kicked out of my home stay on my record forever?
How do I know if it makes sense to fight an eviction?

Getting an Eviction Notice is one of the few things that can make a renter freak out faster. Losing your home is a very real and scary threat. But as a renter, you might be able to stop the eviction process and keep your home by doing certain things. Here are answers to the most common questions asked by renters about what to do when they get an Eviction Notice.

If I get an Eviction Notice, can I stop the eviction?

Yes, you might be able to stop an eviction even if you have already gotten an Eviction Notice. Most of the time, getting this warning does not mean you will be kicked out of your home right away. Most likely, it just means that your landlord thinks you broke one or more of your lease’s rules. The letter tells you that if you do not fix the problem, they will start the legal process to kick you out.
Check out the notice to move out.

Before starting the legal process of removal, owners must give renters written warning in every state. Most of the time, a landlord has to wait a certain amount of time after giving you notice before they can go to court to remove you. Depending on the state and the reason for the removal, it usually takes anywhere from a few days to a month. In either case, now is the most important time to talk to your owner about stopping the eviction.
Fix the problem that was pointed out in the letter.

The best way to avoid being kicked out is to make sure you are not breaking the rules of your lease. Most people are kicked out of their homes for not paying rent, so paying any past-due rent and late fees usually stops an eviction. If it is because of something else, talk to your owner to find an answer that works for both of you. For example, if your landlord finds out you got a new pet even though the lease says you can’t, you might be able to find a new home for your pet or come up with another solution to avoid being kicked out.

If you can not stop breaking the lease terms by the deadline on the removal Notice, your landlord might still stop the removal process if you agree to a plan to fix the problem soon. For example, you can try to set up a Late Rent Payment Plan if you do not have enough money to pay all of your back rent at once. Make sure that any deals are written down, signed, and include a clear statement from the owner that they will not kick you out if you follow the plan.
Use the rights you have.

If you do not think you are breaking your lease, you might also want to talk to your owner about that. Gather any proof you have, like lost checks that show you paid your rent on time, to show that your side of the story is true. If you think your landlord is lying to illegally kick you out of your home, you might want to talk to a lawyer about what you can do. If your owner has not been keeping up with repairs or avoiding problems, you may also want to send a Notice of Unhealthy and Unsafe Conditions on the rented property.

What does a proper Eviction Notice have to say?

Each state has its own rules about what Eviction Notices must say to be acceptable, but they usually have to say the following:

A clear statement that the renter is breaking the rules of the lease and that the owner plans to start the eviction process.
If the eviction is because the rent was not paid, the amount of rent that needs to be paid, plus any late fees, to stop the removal.
If the person is being kicked out because they broke a lease rule, they need to know which rule was broken.
Before the owner starts the removal process, the amount of time the renter has to stop breaking the lease or move out.

Will being kicked out of my home stay on my record forever?

Even if you move out instead of fighting the eviction after getting an Eviction Notice, it will not show up on your lasting record.

But if a court case is made against you or if a judge agrees with your owner and tells you to move out, this could stay on your record for life. Most cases are public information, which means that even if you win, there will be a record of it. A lot of landlords do background checks on potential renters to find out if their previous owners have tried to kick them out. No matter how the case turns out, owners usually do not want to rent to people who have been to court for eviction.

Also, an eviction ruling is almost always a very bad thing to have on your credit record. This can make it hard for you to pay in the future, get a loan, or even get a job in the future. Most people’s credit reports show an eviction ruling for seven years. Because of this, you should do everything you can to stop the eviction before it goes to court.

How do I know if it makes sense to fight an eviction?

It might not be the best idea to fight being kicked out. If the renter can not fix the problem that led to the Eviction Notice and the notice was done properly, fighting it could lead to more serious legal implications. It is very important to get legal help as soon as possible, since missing dates could mean you lose your chance to fight an eviction.

But if you can not move out after getting an Eviction Notice because you do not have enough time or you can not afford to, you might be able to work out a plan. If you try to talk to the landlord before going to court, they may be more willing to work with you. If you need more time and your owner will not talk, fighting the eviction in court can buy you at least a few weeks to figure out what to do next.

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