A renter can face eviction for a variety of reasons, from not following the lease agreement, to causing damage to the apartment, to, most commonly, not paying rent. After all, the landlord prefers conscientious tenants who pay on time and cause the least amount of disturbance.
If you’re in the uncomfortable position of facing eviction, especially due to non payment, you can try to stay or you can decide to leave peacefully. If your financial situation has changed, and you can no longer afford the apartment, it may just be best to face reality and move to a more modest apartment you can afford.
However, if you’d like to stay in your apartment, there are certain things you can do to improve your chances of being able to do so, if that’s what you would like to do.
Steps to Take When Facing Eviction
1. Take action from the minute you receive the eviction notice. The first thing to do is to contact the landlord and see if you can work out a payment agreement. If you’ve been a good tenant who has previously paid on time, your landlord may be willing to work with you. Remember, having an empty apartment and trying to find a new tenant costs your landlord both time and money, which he would probably like to avoid.
Set reasonable amounts of time when you will be able to pay, and then once you create a payment agreement with the landlord, stick to those terms no matter what.
2. Be courteous. No matter who you’re dealing with, whether it be your landlord or a judge, be courteous. You’ll get further by being level headed and nice rather than being angry and argumentative.
Other Important Things to Remember
Your landlord can typically initiate the eviction process after 2 months of non-payment. An important item to remember is that as soon as you pay what is owed, or even a portion of what is owed, the eviction process will stop.
Then, the landlord typically has to wait two months before initiating the process again. This is not said to give you a strategy for staying in the apartment longer or for gaming the system, but simply so you know that if you can make a partial payment, you can buy yourself some time until you will have the money to pay in full. If you don’t see a time when you’ll have the money, moving out may be best.
If you would like a recommendation from your landlord when you go to rent again, make every attempt to pay your landlord in full, even if you decide to move out. Even if you have to make payments on a payment plan, do what you can to ensure that you pay what is owed.
Facing eviction can be a scary process. However, by understanding the process and communicating nicely with all of those involved as well as setting up and maintaining a payment plan, you may be able to stay in your apartment and avoid an eviction.