If you are a tenant, you should be aware that your landlord does not have the authority of terminating a tenancy. This specifically means sending you an adequate notice is written in a specified form. In case you do not move after you receive proper notice, the landlord has the authority of filing a lawsuit for evicting you. This kind of lawsuit is termed an unlawful detainer lawsuit which is also known as UD. The landlord is supposed to bring certain proof regarding any of your wrong deeds for him to win the lawsuit.
The laws of a state contain certain requirements in detail for the landlords who are seeking to end an ongoing tenancy. Each of the states has it’s a different set of procedures and ways of creating termination notices & eviction papers. Landlords should be able to follow the state rules & procedures well.
When does a landlord send a termination notice for a cause?
Although it varies from one state to another, they are three probable kinds of termination notices that you might get if you have violated an ongoing rental agreement in any way:
- Paying arrears rent or quit notice is typically a notice given to a tenant who has not paid the house rent on time. This notice provides you 3-5 days to pay the rent, or the tenant has to move out immediately after the fifth day.
- Cure or quit notice – This eviction notice is a notice that a landlord typically sends if a tenant violates a condition or term of the lease or an ongoing rental agreement. There are certain clauses in a rental agreement, like a no-pets clause or a promise to refrain from creating excessive noise. Usually, the tenant is given a stipulated period of time to cure or correct the violation. If the tenant does not adhere to the same, then he is given an eviction notice.
- Unconditional notice to quit – This is indeed the harshest of all the three types of eviction notices. In this case, a landlord orders a tenant to vacate the premises without giving a chance to correct a rental agreement violation or pay the arrears rent. In the majority of the states, this type of eviction notice is allowed only if the tenant repeatedly violates a significant lease or one or more clauses of a rental agreement, being late in paying rent multiple times, seriously damaging the premises or engage in certain serious illegal activities like drug dealing etc.
When does a landlord send a termination notice to a tenant?
As a tenant, even if you haven’t violated the rental agreement & have not been paying the rent after the due date, a landlord will probably ask you in moving out any time as long as the landlord gives you a notice period.
The notice period is mostly 30 days for vacating the premises or 60-day notice for vacating or terminating a tenancy that can be used in several states when the landlord will have no reason for ending a tenancy.
When is a landlord authorized to file a legal eviction lawsuit?
Once a tenant has received a termination notice and has not initiated to move out of the rented premises due to the violation in the rental agreement clause/s, the concerned landlord should serve you with summons & complaints about the purpose of eviction.
The court will fix a date & time for the hearing or a trial before the court of law. In such a case, the tenant has to necessarily visit the hearing. If the concerned tenant is not present in the hearing, the judge will hold the right to rule against you, even if you have a possibility of defense from the eviction.
Possible defenses by a tenant against an eviction
If the tenant has been hauled in the court hearing, then he might be able to diminish the chances of the landlord winning the case. The tenant can probably point out a finger to shoddy paperwork. Also, the tenant can accuse the landlord of illegal behavior, just like not maintaining the rental property in a habitable condition. This will surely serve as a great defense & claim the eviction lawsuit to be null and void.