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.
Tenant Rights Under Foreclosure
Did you know that you can sometimes be evicted from your property through no fault of your own? In some cases, it will be the property owner defaulting on their mortgage that gets all of their tenants evicted when the building goes into foreclosure. Tenant eviction under such circumstances is unfortunately not as rare as you may believe. If such an event does occur, the bank will normally want to evict all the tenants from the property in order to sell it as soon as possible. The tenants who currently live in the building will then be ordered to vacate the premises with very short advance warning.
What Will Most Likely Happen When the Bank Becomes Your New Landlord?
Sometimes the bank will attempt to maintain status quo and keep the property operating as before. In this case, they will hire a property manager to take the place of the former landlord. However, this is quite rare. In most cases, they will evict all of the tenants and then move to sell the property. Sometimes you will be offered a “cash for quit” deal in which you receive a small amount of money as an encouragement to vacate the premises as soon as possible.
Foreclosing on the Landlord Gives the Bank Full Control of the Property
There is no point in attempting to sue the bank to allow you to stay on the property. The foreclosing that the bank conducted on the property gives them full rights to do anything they wish with their new acquisition. If you are a tenant in a rent controlled or Section 8 apartment, you may be able to stay in the building due to regulations that give these types of tenants extra protection from sudden eviction. If this is not the case, it is best to make the most of the warning you receive in order to make plans to move elsewhere.
Foreclosure on the Property Will Mean the End of Your Lease
When the bank forecloses on the property, it almost always means that your lease or rental agreement is instantly rendered null and void. However, this does not mean that you will have to vacate the premises immediately. The new owner of the property is still required by law to give you a notice of eviction and a decent amount of time to make preparations to find a new home. Thanks to the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, tenants will usually have 90 days to find a new place to go before they are required to leave their present location.
You Don’t Want an Eviction on Your Permanent Record
If you do receive such a notice to vacate the property, it is wise to do so within the amount of time that the new owners give you. If you stay longer or try to fight the order, you may end up with an eviction on your record. This will harm your credit and make it very hard for you to find housing in the future.
Do You Have Any Rights When Faced with a Mass Tenant Eviction?
If you are facing a mass tenant eviction because the bank has declared foreclosure on your landlord’s property, you do have certain rights that you can have recourse to. You can’t stop the property from being foreclosed on. However, the rental agreement that you signed with the former owner was a binding legal contract. This means that you still have certain rights that are guaranteed and that the former landlord must continue to honor.
In Some Cases, You Can Sue Your Former Landlord for Satisfaction
Under certain circumstances, it is possible to sue your landlord in order to receive due compensation for any economic losses that resulted from their failure to properly observe the terms of the rental agreement that they entered into with you. If you decide to do so, you can file a suit in small claims court to recover any such losses that you may have incurred. These will usually be for such considerations as moving expenses, any application fees you may have to shell out for, and any increase in rent that you may now have to pay at your new location.
You May Have to Wait to Receive Satisfaction on Any Suit You File
It’s important to note that, even if you should win the judgment that you file against your former landlord, it may take quite some time for you to actually see any cash from it. After being foreclosed on, your former landlord isn’t exactly going to be loaded with extra money. You may have to pursue your judgment for a very long time in order to finally see some satisfaction from it. However, if you can hang on for a long enough time, you may finally be able to recover at least some of your costs.