Landlords sometimes try to kick tenants out of the homes they’re renting. That process is called “eviction.” It’s also known as F.E.D., but it’s easier to just call it eviction.
If you are a tenant (as opposed to, for example, a guest or a squatter) living somewhere with a valid rental agreement (verbal or written), a landlord cannot just break in and kick you out on his own! Doing so would be illegal – your landlord would probably get into criminal trouble, and you would likely be able to sue your landlord for a substantial amount of money. If a landlord wants you out and you won’t leave, a landlord’s only way to get you out is through the eviction process. That process usually has to start with your landlord giving you a “notice of termination.”
The Notice of Termination
There are several different types of termination notices:
- A “72-hour notice” is a notice a landlord can give you if you are behind on your rent. The notice gives you 3 days (72 hours) to either pay or get out.
- A “for cause termination notice” can arrive on your door if the landlord claims you have been violating your rental agreement – the time frame can vary, and often the notice must give you the right to fix the problem first.
- The “no cause notice” is a favorite of landlords everywhere. If you have a month-to-month agreement, your landlord does not need any reason to terminate your tenancy. These notices can typically be given 30 days in advance. However, if you have been living in a home for more than a year, you are entitled to 60 days advance notice.
If you refuse to leave after the date specified in the notice, your landlord still cannot just kick you out – they must get the court involved.
The Eviction Complaint
If you don’t leave by the deadline listed in the notice, your landlord can go to court and file an “Eviction Complaint.” Once the complaint is filed with the court, your landlord must have you served with a copy. Usually the sheriff will bring a copy to your home. The eviction complaint paperwork served on you will tell you when to go to court.
You have a right to an eviction trial. At that trial, you may have one or more good defenses against eviction.
If you’re faced with an eviction, you should talk to a lawyer at Portland Defender before deciding what to do. We may be able to help you stay in your home, and even sue your own landlord! Call us today at (503) 592-0606.
(photo by babukadja)