Can a Landlord Evict You for No Reason?
Life as a renter means you're not tied into 30-year mortgages and property upkeep, but there's always the question in the back of your mind: Because even the most responsible tenants are at risk of having to suddenly uproot and move, whether the landlord's actions are legal or not.
Let's take a look at common scenarios in which landlords try and evict tenants, and how you can protect your rights on your own, with an expensive lawyer, or in minutes with the help of DoNotPay.
5 Legal Reasons a Landlord Can Evict You
Getting evicted from your property is hard especially if However, there are also valid reasons why a landlord can evict you. Here are the reason why they can do so:
- You have repeatedly failed to pay your rent on time (or not at all).
- You're causing damage to the property beyond reasonable wear and tear.
- You have sublet the unit or moved in additional roommates without permission.
- You are using the property for illegal or unauthorized purposes.
- You're a nuisance to other tenants.
4 Examples of Unjust Evictions
- You can't be evicted if you have certain types of service animals, though the qualifications vary by state.
- You can't be evicted for having a child unless you are in an adults-only community.
- Your landlord can't break the lease in order to move in a relative or make upgrades.
- Your landlord can't evict you for filing legitimate claims against them.
Below are a few other types of wrong evictions:
|Constructive eviction||The premise is that the landlord has failed to keep the unit habitable under state and local law. If you can show that your living conditions were uninhabitable, either because of repairs the landlord failed to make or because of an unauthorized tenant, you may have a defense|
|Illegal eviction||If the landlord tries to evict you without following the proper procedures, or in retaliation for exercising your legal rights, you may be able to fight the eviction|
|Retaliation||If the landlord tries to evict you for filing a complaint against them or for joining a tenant's union, you may be able to fight the eviction and win up to two months' free rent as damages.|
|Discrimination||If you think that your landlord is trying to evict you because of your race, color, creed, age, sex, or disability, or because you have children, then you may have a defense against the eviction.|
How to Fight an Unwarranted Eviction
If you believe your landlord is attempting to evict you for illegitimate reasons, without notice, or they are taking illegal steps to get you to vacate your home, you have options. First, know your rights as a tenant. The best place to look for them is in your lease agreement. Second, seek the help of a tenancy advocacy board in your city, county, or state—they'll help you navigate the tenancy and eviction laws that apply to your location, tell you where to file a complaint against your landlord, advise you on how to get your security deposit back, and possibly help you find a low-cost attorney should you need to take your landlord to court.
In the meantime, document every communication between you and your landlord. If they have not given you a specific reason for the eviction, request they do so in writing, with evidence to back up their claim.
Then, you (or your lawyer, if you chose to pay for one) might wish to write a demand letter to your landlord letting them know how and why they are in the wrong, and that you have every intention of fighting the eviction and/or seeking damages for breaking the lease. Here is a sample:
Here is a sample letter you can use:
Dear (Landlord or agent's name)
My name is (name) and I live at (address, unit). I am the tenant on the lease, signed on (date). On (date) you informed me that you are evicting me because:
- (List reasons given, if any; use the same wording they used, if possible.)
I dispute these accusations, not only because they are false, but because they are illegitimate reasons for eviction in the state of (state). Our lease officially expires on (Date) and if you intend to break this binding agreement, I will require my security deposit and prepaid last month's rent to be returned to me in full, as well as:
- List any other compensation allowed to you by state and local laws
- Request a letter of recommendation signed by the landlord
If we do not come to a satisfactory resolution by (date), I will be forced to pursue damages in small claims court, as is my right, and file a formal complaint with (city or state agencies). Please respond in writing at your earliest convenience.
Is There an Easier Way to Deal with Unfair Eviction?
DoNotPay is here to guide you through your tenant issues and file your disputes on your behalf. Our Landlord Protection product can help you:
- Get out of your lease early
- Learn how long a landlord has to return a deposit in your state or city
- Resolve disputes with problem roommates
- Get your landlord to make repairs to your rental
- Determine a landlord's responsibilities for repairs
If you need help fighting an unfair eviction, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:
- Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay.
- Select which issue applies to you.
- Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.
- Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.
And that's it! Your landlord will be in contact with you shortly to respond, and you might be surprised by how willing they are to meet your terms!
DoNotPay Solves Almost Any Problem
DoNotPay isn't just a tenant advocate. Think of us as your "robot lawyer" for hundreds of common—and uncommon—challenges people face during their lifetime. Here are just a few:
- Find and use standardized legal forms and documents
- Notarize any document online
- File a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request
- Find unclaimed money owed to you
- Stop (and punish!) robocallers
Let us have your back in your current landlord dispute. Even if your landlord has a legitimate reason for evicting you, you deserve compensation—and we'll help you get it quickly, with the best outcome!
Can a Landlord Evict You For No Reason? — Frequently Asked Questions
Can a landlord evict you for no reason in California?
The Tenant Protection Act (AB 1482) of 2019 states that a landlord has to have a valid reason (just cause) to evict a tenant, such as non-payment of rent, habitual late payment of rent, lease violations, nuisance, and illegal activities.
Can a landlord evict you without a court order?
No, your landlord cannot evict you without a court order. You can call the police if your landlord tries to evict you without a court order.
Can a landlord evict you for no reason without a lease?
Yes, your landlord can evict you without a lease.