Q:

What should you do if you've been given a 30-day eviction notice?

A:

Quick Answer

The first thing to do after receiving a 30-day eviction notice is to decide whether you want to fight it or move out. If you would prefer to stay in your current home, call your landlord to see if you can work out a settlement.

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Full Answer

Although the exact process and requirements of eviction vary by state, tenants can usually begin legally fighting the eviction by simply not moving out. If a tenant remains in the home after 30 days, the landlord must request an eviction hearing and serve the tenant with a court summons. The tenant can argue his case before a judge, who may either reduce the monetary damage or rule against the eviction.

If you choose to fight eviction in this manner, consider hiring an attorney to help you prepare your defense. Not all defenses are valid, and what holds up in court varies by state. Some cities with rent control or other tenant protections may have even more specific laws. Common defenses include having fixed the reason for eviction or having caught up on rent payments.

Evictions can be expensive and time-consuming for landlords, so many are willing to work out a solution outside of court. For example, if you fall behind on your rent and need more time to pay, ask about developing a payment plan with your landlord. Try to get all arrangements in writing so you have proof.

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