Eviction is the removal of a tenant from rental property by the landlord.
Landlords can’t evict tenants without terminating the tenancy first. This usually means giving tenant adequate written notice, in a specified way and form. If the tenant doesn’t move after proper notice, the landlord can file a lawsuit to evict a tenant. (This type of lawsuit is sometimes called an unlawful detainer, or UD lawsuit.) In order to win, the landlord must prove that tenant did something wrong that justifies ending the tenancy.
State laws have very detailed requirements for landlords who want to end a tenancy. Each state has its own procedures as to how termination notices and eviction papers must be written and delivered to the tenant (“served”). Landlords must follow state rules and procedures exactly.
There are 4 types of evictions. They are
- Constructive eviction
This term used in the law of real property to describe a circumstance in which a landlord either does something or fails to do something that he has a legal duty to provide (e.g. the landlord refuses to provide heat or water to the apartment), rendering the property uninhabitable. A tenant who is constructively evicted may terminate the lease and seek damages.
A tenant who suffers from a constructive eviction can claim all of the legal remedies available to a tenant who was actually told to leave.
- Actual eviction
This is the physical expulsion of a person from land or rental property. It is the physical ouster of a tenant from the leased premises. After the actual eviction, the tenant is relieved of any further duty to pay rent. Actual eviction is the physical dispossession of a tenant.
- Partial eviction
It refers to an eviction resulting from a landlord depriving a tenant of use of a portion of the leased premises. In most states, partial eviction allows a tenant to stop paying rent if the tenant abandons the premises, while in other states the tenant can either abandon the premises or pay partial rent.
- Retaliatory eviction
It is a substantive defense and affirmative cause of action that can be used by a tenant against a landlord. If a tenant reports sanitary violations or violations of minimum housing standards, the landlord cannot evict the tenant in retaliation.
- If the tenant hasn’t moved out or fixed the lease or rental agreement violation, the landlord must properly serve the tenant with a summons and complaint about eviction in order to proceed with the eviction.
- Even if the landlord wins the eviction lawsuit, the landlord can’t just move tenant and his/her things out onto the sidewalk. Landlords must give the court judgment to a local law enforcement official, along with a fee. A sheriff or marshal gives the tenant a notice that the officer will be back within a few days to escort tenant off the property.
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