Contrary to popular belief, an eviction doesn't only happen because someone has not paid their rent. There are plenty of other reasons, justified or otherwise, why someone might find themselves at serious odds with their landlord. If you are facing an eviction from your current property, it's an excellent idea to get to know everything you can about the process. The more you know about how eviction works, the better prepared you will be to fight against it if you feel that you are justified in doing so and possess a valid case.
Most Landlords Will Not Evict a Tenant without Sufficient Cause
There are many different reasons why a property owner may decide to serve a tenant with a formal notice of eviction. These causes are normally first addressed with a warning, whether verbal or in writing. Most landlords won't simply proceed directly to eviction without a formal provocation. It can be hard enough to find a reliable tenant to occupy their property. Most landlords wish to avoid unduly frequent turnover in their property. For this reason, they will usually give you several chances to amend your behavior before they move to the final extremity. Eviction is normally a gesture of last resort.
What Are the Reasons a Landlord May Choose to Evict a Tenant?
There are several reasons why a landlord may feel that they have no choice but to evict a client. The first and most common is that a tenant has missed too many payments in a row and shows no inclination or ability to make up the deficit. The amount of time you have to make up the amount is normally stated in the lease. If you have gone beyond this period with no explanation of your delinquency, the landlord may serve you with a formal notice of eviction. You must then either come up with at least part of the amount you owe or quit the premises within a stated amount of time - usually between 10 and 30 days.
A Landlord May Serve You with a Cure or Quit Notice
You may also be evicted under a "cure or quit" clause. You may be causing a problem for the landlord or other tenants in the property. For example, you may be hosting other tenants or keeping pets in violation of the terms of your lease or rental agreement. If this is the case, you will be given a certain amount of time to "cure" the problem by complying with the wishes of your landlord. If you fail to do so, they have every legal right to serve you with a notice of eviction.
A Landlord May Hand You an Unconditional Quit Notice
There is also a form of eviction known as the "unconditional quit." This means that the landlord does not feel inclined to give you a chance to correct whatever behavior you may be engaging in that violates the terms of your rental agreement. They simply prefer to hand you the eviction notice and expect you to leave by a certain time. In some states, there will be certain limitations on the conditions under which an "unconditional quit" eviction is allowed to proceed.
Sometimes A Landlord is Allowed to Evict You Without a Cause
You should know that there are also certain conditions under which a landlord can evict you without giving a cause of any kind. In this case, the tenant must normally be given a time period of between 30 and 60 days during which to vacate the premises. If you live in a rent-controlled apartment, the landlord must furnish the tenant with a valid legal reason for the eviction. If you have a fixed-term lease, the landlord must wait until the end of the lease period before they can evict you. There are some states, such as New Hampshire and New Jersey, that will not allow a landlord to evict without cause.