Apartment eviction is never a pleasant experience. A tenant who rents a property should always seek a harmonious relationship with his landlord. It is also the same for the part of the property owner. Peaceful accordance can prevent problems between the tenant and the landlord. Now if it happens that your landlord makes an attempt to evict you from the property, there are certain things you can do to protect your rights, more especially if the eviction is retaliatory in nature. To know more about this particular type of eviction process, here are some useful information about it.
What is Retaliatory Eviction?
Retaliatory eviction refers to the illegal process by which a landlord evicts a tenant from the rented property through unlawful measures such as increase of rent, refusal to renew monthly tenancy contract, restriction of access of a certain part of the rented property, and removal of basic utilities and services such as water, heat, electricity, or gas. Common reasons that drive landlords to evict their tenants through this measure are complaints made to government agencies regarding a violation of the housing code or terms of lease or the tenant’s participation in a tenant’s union.
Automatic Presumption Time Frame
In some states, an automatic presumption time frame is imposed. If a landlord commits one of the unlawful actions mentioned above within the automatic presumption time frame that usually ranges from sixty days to one year from the time of the tenant’s legal activity depending on the state of location, landlord’s action is considered retaliatory eviction. To put it more simply, if a tenant files a complaint against the landlord for violating housing code and the landlord cuts of electricity or water within 60 days or whatever the automatic presumption time frame is, the landlord may be sued for retaliatory eviction.
What to Do in Retaliatory Eviction
If you are facing retaliatory eviction from your landlord, you have three options. First, you can move out and sue for damages. This way, you no longer have to suffer the harm inflicted on you by the landlord and you can recover compensation for the damages you incurred due to his actions. Your second option would be to stay in the rented property and still sue for damages. Finally, you can withhold your rent and sue for damages.
Landlord and Tenant Attorney
If you have been a victim of retaliatory eviction, it is advisable that you contact a landlord and tenant attorney right away. Your lawyer will guide you through the step-by-step procedure on suing for damages and at the same time, help defend your rights.