Receiving an eviction notice can be frightening. But rather than panicking, you can respond effectively if you understand that the eviction process follows a precise timeline. If you want to stop or delay the eviction, you must act within the time frame specified. There are two types of eviction notices--a written notice, which is sent first, and the eviction order. The written notice is served first, before an eviction is filed with in court.
Read the eviction notice. If this is the first communication you have received about the eviction, then it is the written notice. It precedes the landlord going to court.
Remedy the situation behind the eviction demand. A way to do so is included on the written notice in cases of non-payment of rent and breach of lease terms. For other eviction reasons, speak with your landlord about a possible remedy.
Write the landlord, responding to the reason for the eviction if you cannot or will not fix the problem. Tell the landlord why you contest the eviction, and keep a copy of your response. Wait for the eviction suit summons.
Appear in court at the date and time specified in the summons. Prepare an affirmative defense to contest the eviction. If you think the landlord is trying to evict you for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons, make copies of all documentation proving it. The judge will consider the case and either grant the eviction, rule in your favor, or schedule another hearing to review the evidence.
- Another type of affirmative defense by a tenant addresses whether a landlord followed proper legal procedures when seeking the eviction. The case can be dismissed if a landlord did not follow the process and the tenant can prove it.
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