Can a Landlord Evict You If There Is No Lease?

Can a Landlord Evict You If There Is No Lease?

There are a number of legal reasons for ending a tenancy.  If you have an informal word-of-mouth agreement to lease a room, unit, or property, you may be worried about your legal rights when it comes to eviction. Evicting someone who hasn't signed a lease is known as a no-lease eviction or a tenant-at-will eviction, and it's certainly legal to do. Notwithstanding this fact, there are still several steps that landlords must take to notify tenants of their intentions and several things that tenants can do to protect themselves.

Common Reasons Why Tenants Are Evicted

Whether tenants have signed leases or not, landlords must cite legal reasons for evicting them before their determined lease period ends. Among some of the more common legal reasons for evicting people from rental units are:

  • Property damages
  • Illicit drug use
  • Failure to pay rent
  • Unauthorized pets
  • Failure to make utility payments
  • Health and safety violations

Landlords can also evict tenants if they intend to move into their rental units themselves or if they plan on taking their units off the rental market.

What You Can Do to Fight an Eviction

After serving your notice of their intention to evict, your landlord must file for eviction hearings. You have the right to be present at this hearing if you submit a legal response to this filing. You may be able to successfully fight an eviction if your landlord's reasons for asking you to leave aren't legal. For instance, if you recently submitted a letter to your landlord about repairs and believe that your eviction is retaliatory, you may have legal grounds for contesting the eviction.

What Does the Eviction Process Look Like?

Evictions for tenants-at-will or no-lease evictions can look slightly different from standard evictions, and they may also take a bit longer in some states. It's important to note that eviction laws can vary greatly from state to state and even from county to county. Thus, if you have questions like:

You should take the time to learn about renters' rights in your area before taking any action.  You should also learn more about landlord repairs and responsibilities to ensure that your landlord isn't neglecting any of his duties.

Steps Landlords Must Take When Evicting Tenants-At-Will

To lawfully evict no-lease tenants or tenants at will, landlords must:

  1. Send a notice to quit.
  2. File for an eviction hearing.
  3. Take their judgments to a local sheriff.
  4. Perform an authority eviction with the help of a local sheriff.

Receiving a Notice to Quit

Serving you with a notice to quit is the first step that your landlord must take to lawfully evict you. This will give you a period of approximately 10 to 14 days to voluntarily move out of the property on your own. In most states, this document will also need to cite the reason why you're being asked to leave. It can also offer the opportunity to remedy the situation. For instance, if you're being asked to leave the rental unit because you haven't paid your rent in some time, you might receive a "Pay or Quit" notice. With this, you may be able to maintain your tenancy if you're able to fulfill the terms of your landlord. In other instances, a Notice to Quit is simply an opportunity to leave of your own volition before additional legal action is taken.

Does My Landlord Have to Warn Me Before I’m Evicted?

Serving tenants with a notice to quit not only informs tenants of their landlord's intentions to evict them but also gives them the opportunity to file a legal response. In all states, landlords must notify tenants of their intention to evict them. However, the type of notification that they give and the number of times tenants have to file their responses vary.

What Happens if I Don’t Move After Getting an Eviction Notice?

Tenants have not been formally evicted until a judgment has been made in their landlords' eviction hearings. If you do not file a response to your landlord's Motion to Evict and do not show up in court, a copy of the judgment will be sent to you and posted on your door. You will be required to comply with this judgment and should have yourself and all of your belongings out of the home by the date published on the eviction notice. If you do not vacate the property after this time, your landlord or his agent will arrive with the sheriff and physically remove you from the property. Thus if your landlord is threatening to evict you, it's important to learn your legal rights and take the necessary actions to contest this effort.

How to Fight an Eviction on Your Own

There are several things that you can do to fight an eviction on your own. You can start by trying to talk with your landlord to resolve their concerns. This is also a good time to ask about entering into a written rental agreement. You may be able to resolve the problem by:

  • Paying your rent in full
  • Establishing a reasonable repayment plan
  • Reaching out for local rental assistance
  • Paying a pet deposit for any unauthorized pets or getting rid of them
  • Cleaning up your unit as requested

If you are still in relatively good standing with your landlord, complying with their demands could resolve the problem. If not, you can comply with the Notice to Quit. Leaving the property before your landlord files for an official eviction hearing will ensure that you don't have an eviction on your record. This will prevent future barriers to stable housing and make it easier to get a new apartment.

If you believe that your landlord is wrongfully evicting you, you can file a response to their Motion to Evict. This will give you the opportunity to state your concerns in court. If your landlord is taking retaliatory action against you, or if your landlord is breaking the law in other ways, the judge may rule in your favor.

Next Steps for Fighting an Eviction If You Can't Do It By Yourself

It's rarely easy to negotiate with landlords who are ready to evict. It's far better to have someone representing your interests and making sure that your rights as a renter are being honored. Using DoNotPay is always the safest, surest, and easiest way to respond to a Motion to Evict, especially when your landlord is attempting to evict you wrongfully.

With the Landlord Protection Product from DoNotPay, you can:

  1. Learn all about your renter's rights in your local jurisdiction and state
  2. Get your security deposit back
  3. Resolve repair-related disputes with your landlord
  4. Resolve issues with roommates

And even break your lease early.

If you want to break a lease in [state] but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 4 easy steps:

SearchOpen the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay
SelectWhich issue applies to you.
AnswerA simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter.
ChooseWhether 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.

Why Use DoNotPay to Fight an Eviction?

Using DoNotPay gives you the opportunity to leverage the legal expertise of the world's first robot lawyer without paying a veritable fortune. Using DoNotPay is quick and convenient and a great way to ensure your success. No matter where you live or what your landlord-related issues are, DoNotPay has the knowledge of all relevant landlord/tenant laws and can help you solve your problem. All you need to do is:

  1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay. 
  2. Select which issue applies to you. 
  3. Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter. 
  4. 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! You should hear back from your landlord directly once your demands are sent.

DoNotPay Works Across All Companies and Agencies With One Click

DoNotPay has got you covered for all of your landlord-related problems in any state. You can use DoNotPay to break a lease, fight an eviction, or demand to have essential repairs performed in Idaho, Texas, California, and more. DoNotPay works across all companies and agencies with a single click. You can use DoNotPay to solve multiple problems with multiple entities fast.

What Else Can DoNotPay Help With?

DoNotPay is the world's first robot lawyer. You can use DoNotPay to solve a host of challenging legal and financial issues. DoNotPay is also the perfect tool for handling many other complex tasks. With DoNotPay, you're able to quickly and easily:

And even take a case to small claims court. If you're , DoNotPay can help. Sign up today to start tackling problems like this one head-on.

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