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How do I Stop an Eviction?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are a number of different ways to stop an eviction, and the best way typically depends on what point in the eviction process you have reached. You may also have different options available to you depending on the country or region in which you live, so you should consult an attorney with specific knowledge about where you live for more precise information. In general, however, you can usually stop an eviction by paying rent that is due or by coming to an agreement with the property owner. You may also be able to stop an eviction by fighting the eviction in court, as long as you can prove your defense.

One of the first things you should know is that it is typically illegal for the property owner to do something such as shut off your power or water, or change the locks on your door. If a property owner does something like this to force an eviction, then you typically can bring a lawsuit against him or her. An eviction is a legal process like any other, so the proper steps must be taken by the person trying to evict you or else he or she may break the law.

Assuming the proper steps are being taken, then you will likely be given a certain grace period in which you can pay your rent to prevent or stop an eviction. This is usually between five and ten days, and you should be made aware of this time frame by the property owner in writing. As long as you pay your rent and any late fees stipulated in your rental agreement in this time, then you can stop an eviction procedure from moving forward. Once this time passes, however, the property owner can file paperwork for further eviction proceedings, often called an unlawful detainer suit, against you.

You should be notified of these proceedings through the mail by the courts, and usually by the property owner as well. Depending on your area and the property owner, you may still be able to stop an eviction at this point by paying any owed rent, late fees, and legal fees the property owner has incurred. Otherwise you can try to fight the eviction in court, and you will typically need to prove that the eviction is illegal in some way, either by demonstrating that you have not violated the terms of the lease in any way the property owner claims or by showing that the eviction itself is being done illegally.

In the US, it is illegal in most states for a property owner to try to evict you due to you demanding that repairs be made to the property or in retaliation for complaints you may have filed against him or her. If you can prove that the eviction is being done because of this type of issue, then you can stop an eviction by demonstrating that it is illegal. This can potentially open up a property owner to a counter suit on your behalf, for compensatory and punitive damages as well as for a waiver of future rent payments.

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Discussion Comments

By Buster29 — On Oct 03, 2014

I'm so glad I own my own home now, because dealing with landlords and evictions and all that can be a nightmare. I had one landlord who stapled an eviction notice to my front door after I complained about a few repairs not being done correctly. I had been told that I could withhold part of my rent payment if I had to buy repair supplies with my own money. He saw it as non-payment of my rent, and used that as the official excuse for the eviction.

The only thing I could do to stop the eviction was to hire an attorney who specialized in landlord and tenant rights. He wrote a letter that explained exactly how the court would view the landlord's retaliatory actions and how much it would cost in legal fees to keep pursuing the questionable eviction. The landlord did back down, and I got to stay in that apartment for the rest of the time left on the lease.

By mrwormy — On Oct 02, 2014

It's been my personal experience that once an eviction process begins, the relationship between a landlord and tenant usually deteriorates noticeably. The things that would usually stop a eviction at the earliest stage, like paying all of the back rent, may not work if the process reaches the court hearing stage. By that point the landlord probably just wants the tenant gone, regardless of the money or the repairs or the apologies.

I once had a situation where I lost my job, but found a new one two weeks later. I told my landlord that I would be late with the next month's rent, because there would be a lag time before I received my first paycheck. He said he understood, but he also put an eviction notice on my door. He said he would stop the eviction process just as soon as I paid the back rent. I did pay him everything I owed, and he stopped the eviction right then.

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