You are a tenant and you have heard that you have a looming eviction and aren’t sure where to turn for the help you need. It means everything to you to be able to keep the home you love in your time of need, and you have reason to believe that the measures a landlord is taking against you are illegal based on the circumstances. Is there a legitimate reason for your eviction or is a landlord taking retaliatory or other measures against you? Let us show you what is illegal and how you can move forward.
Retaliatory Eviction: It is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against a tenant for many reasons. For example, what if there is a health department issue and you have notified the department about mold or some other toxic issue in your apartment? What if you slipped and fell based on faulty conditions on the property that the landlord should have fixed? What happens if there was a major maintenance issue and the landlord refused to fix it? If you then report them, it is illegal for them to evict you based on these reasons. In court, this will not look good on the landlord’s part.
Discriminatory Eviction: Landlords are not legally allowed to evict a tenant based on the color of their skin, the religion that they practice, or the fact that they have children. This is where the Federal Fair Housing Act comes into play and protects individuals and families based on their status. An example of this type of discriminatory action is if the landlord found out that his tenants are Jewish and decided to evict them because of it.
Protected Tenant: Some people are considered to be protected tenants and cannot easily be evicted, such as elderly people who have been living in certain areas for decades. Without a legitimate reason to evict, these cases can turn into an issue.
Safety and Health Issue: Lastly, if there is a safety or health issue and the tenant decides to withhold rent until it is fixed, they cannot be evicted in the meantime. It is a landlord’s duty to keep a property safe from all harm, so in these cases, rent can be safely withheld.
You cannot formally be evicted from the premises unless you are given notice of the eviction. Even when your landlord has followed this to the T, it may still be illegal to evict you if there is no cause to do so without falling into one of the categories mentioned prior. If an eviction notice is given without cause, you are able to ask for the reason why you are being evicted. If you believe that it is due to some discriminatory or retaliatory measure, you have rights in your case.
You may feel as if the landlord is in charge when it comes to your case, but this is not always so. With the right attorney on your side to help you defend your rights, anything is possible. We can help you achieve the results you deserve when you are facing an unfair or illegal eviction. At Gomez & Simone, we want to help you every step of the way, so call us as soon as possible.