The federal eviction moratorium put in place due to the pandemic has ended. If you’ve been struggling to pay rent, that means your landlord could evict you — although there is a process that needs to take place. Here’s what to know if you end up getting an eviction notice.
While the timeline for evictions varies by state, the basic way they work is about the same. You must first be served an eviction notice in writing by the landlord. After that, a hearing is set so a court can order a document requiring you to leave the premises. If you don’t leave by the appointed date, your landlord must wait for a sheriff to enforce the eviction notice. If your landlord tries to lock you out or kick you out without going through the court first, they are acting illegally. Alert the local sheriff department immediately.
If you think you have the right to stay in your apartment, you can fight the eviction. As US News suggests, the first thing to try is talking to your landlord. Even if you can’t make the full payment right now, perhaps you can work out a plan going forward. Many landlords don’t want to go through the trouble of eviction and then finding a new tenant. If talking to your landlord doesn’t get you anywhere, try contacting local legal aid offices for help with representation. You should also look for local aid groups that help with evictions.
If you think the eviction has merit, it might behoove you to move before the legal process goes through. It can be hard to rent with an eviction on your record. If the eviction does go through, your best strategy when trying to rent again is to be upfront with your next landlord. Unfortunately, you’ll likely have to pay more in a down payment and/or security deposit.