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What To Do If You're Being Evicted

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What To Do If You're Being Evicted

eviction-notice, legal-protection-when-being-evicted, rental-problems, property-managementBeing evicted is a difficult experience for anyone to go through and can be rather traumatic. Just the thought of being evicted is enough to make most people fall into a panic. If you feel you may be evicted, however, there are a few things you can do to fight it. Depending on if you're willing to move out when ordered or not, these steps differ.

First of all, you need to make sure you get in touch with your landlord as soon as you receive an eviction notice. Ignoring the notice is the absolute worst thing you can do in this situation. Whether you know the reason you're receiving an eviction notice or not, you should talk to your landlord to see if there's any way to fix the problem. If you're late with rent, see if you can set up a payment plan of sorts to get yourself back in good standing. If it's because of some behavior - too loud, parking in the wrong spot, etc. - see if you can get him to give you a chance to correct this behavior. At the end of the day, your landlord is a person too and, if you're polite, they may be a good ally in fighting your eviction.

If you're unable to convince your landlord to work with you in this matter, it's time to seek legal counsel. If you intend to fight your eviction, you need to make sure you've got the law on your side. Lawyers who specialize in real estate and the like are your best bet for finding good representation. Your landlord will need to get a court order in order to have you removed from your apartment. What many people don't know is that you can fight this court order the same as you could fight any other legal battle. This is why having a good lawyer is the most important thing you can do right now. If you believe that your eviction is unlawful, or you are being falsely accused of whatever you're being evicted for, this is the best way to make sure you're not removed from your home. If you are guilty of the actions that got you evicted, however, you may not want to fight the eviction notice. It can be extremely costly, after all, and you may end up simply losing money you could have put toward finding a new apartment. 

If you choose not to fight the eviction, or if you lose your court case to prevent eviction, you'll need to start packing and preparing to move. You normally have anywhere from a week to 30 days between getting the notice and being forcibly removed from your apartment. Take this time to get everything packed up neatly. Start looking through the newspaper and internet sites such as Craigslist to see if you can find a new apartment before your eviction date. If necessary, you may want to find a cheap storage facility to keep your property. If you end up staying with friends or family, or living in a smaller apartment than you're used to, you'll need to keep some of your belongings stored until you're back on your feet. If you're not able to get everything packed up or stored before the end of your eviction period, don't worry, the police will not simply throw everything onto the curb. Despite what most people believe, the police will actually put all of your belongings in storage for up to 30 days. All you have to do to get your stuff back is pay a nominal storage fee.

Photo credit: blog.jamessansonelaw.com

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Guest Wednesday, 23 April 2014
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