Eviction refers to a process whereby a landlord removes a tenant from his rental property. A landlord can't evict you without giving written notice, going to the court and winning the case. If your landlord tires to evict you from your rental property without going to the court, you may be able to protect yourself.
Without a court order called the Warrant of Eviction, your landlord can't evict you from your home. Your landlord violates the law if she does so. Some illegal actions your landlord may take to force you to move out include changing the locks or padlocking the doors to keep you out, placing your furniture and other property outside, removing the doors to force you to leave and shutting off the utilities.
Steps to Take
If your landlord tries to evict you illegally, you can take legal action to stop him. Call the police or sheriff and tell him that your landlord is trying to force you to move out without a Warrant of Eviction. Local law enforcement should help you stop the landlord so that you can stay in the rental property peacefully. If the police won't help you, you can call a lawyer for advice. You may be able to get a court order to force the landlord to stop, and you may also get monetary compensation for your landlord's illegal action.
Cause of Eviction
If you have a written lease, your landlord has to provide a reason for the eviction. He can only evict you if the lease is up, if you owe rent or if you violate the terms of the lease agreement. Your landlord has to prove the reason in court. If you don't have a written lease and stay in the property as a month-to-month tenant, your landlord may not have to give you a reason for the eviction.
To evict you, your landlord has to follow a certain set of procedures. She first has to demand that you stop violating your lease agreement, for example, by paying any past-due rent. If you fail to do this, your landlord may file a complaint against you in court to start the eviction process. During a court hearing, the landlord states her case, and you have an opportunity to raise your defenses. If the landlord wins the case, she can get the sheriff to evict you.
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.