Before forcing you to move out of your rental property, your landlord has to follow certain restrictions as specified by state laws. All states require your landlord to give you an eviction notice with a certain minimum number of days to vacate the property. State laws also detail how landlords must serve the eviction notice.
Before kicking you out, your landlord has to give you a fair warning. Usually you have 30 days from the day of the notice to vacate the property. In some cases, you have less time to move out. For example, if you are a month-to-month tenant in Maine, your landlord can give you a seven-day notice of eviction if you violate certain lease provisions; for example, by damaging the property or being a nuisance to your neighbors.
Your state laws specify how your landlord must write and deliver the eviction notice. Depending on your state, your landlord may deliver the notice in person to you, give it to your family member or employee or send it by mail. Some states have more specific rules. For example, your landlord may have to print the notice with a font that is a certain size or style. Failure to follow your state's statutes makes the notice invalid. However, your landlord can simply correct the mistake and deliver another notice properly.
If you have a lease and your landlord evicts you before the end of the lease term, your landlord has to state a reason for the eviction. If your lease does not have a termination clause about evicting you before the lease term ends, your landlord may not be able to evict you. If you are a month-to-month tenant, your landlord can ask you to move out without a reason as long as he gives you a longer notice period.
If your landlord does not comply with the state laws regarding eviction notice, you can take legal action. For example, if your landlord changes the locks, takes your property or shuts off your utilities, he breaks the law, and you can report him to the authorities. If you go to court, the judge may order your landlord to stop and pay you monetary compensation. Contact a lawyer or your state's housing authority if you believe your landlord is not following the proper eviction procedures.
- Nolo: When Your Lease or Rental Agreement Ends FAQ
- Nolo: How Month-to-Month Tenancies End
- Pine Tree Legal Assistance; Rights of Tenants: Evictions; August 2010
- Michigan Courts: Landlord-Tenant Self Help
- Nolo: How Evictions Work: What Renters Need to Know
- American Landlord. "State Eviction Laws for Curable Violations." Accessed Oct. 6, 2020.
- Justia. "Eviction." Accessed Oct. 6, 2020.
- Nolo. "How to Delay an Eviction." Accessed Oct. 6, 2020.
- Experian. "How Does an Eviction Affect Your Credit Report?" Accessed Oct. 6, 2020.
- Fair Credit Reporting Act. "§ 1681c. Requirements Relating to Information Contained in Consumer Reports." Accessed Oct. 6, 2020.
Edriaan Koening began writing professionally in 2005, while studying toward her Bachelor of Arts in media and communications at the University of Melbourne. She has since written for several magazines and websites. Koening also holds a Master of Commerce in funds management and accounting from the University of New South Wales.