Renters have the right to be served with a legal notice of an eviction, and landlords cannot move renters and their property out without the assistance of a law enforcement officer, says Nolo. Evictions must be preceded by a termination of tenancy.
Tenants must be served with a summons and a complaint for eviction that complies with state law, explains Nolo. In cases where an eviction lawsuit goes to court, tenants have the right to present evidence that an eviction should not proceed. Landlords who do not maintain the property to certain standards do not have the right to evict a tenant. If the lawsuit paperwork is not prepared correctly, this may serve as a defense against eviction. A landlord is not allowed to evict a tenant in retaliation for the tenant's attempts to acquire needed repairs to the property.
State laws provide specific guidelines for landlords who want to end a tenancy, and each state has procedures governing how eviction lawsuits and termination notices must be written and served, says Nolo. Landlords cannot evict tenants without first serving a notice to terminate, and there are three general types of such notices. Renters who violate terms or conditions of a lease, or those who fail to pay the rent, are subject to termination for cause. Unconditional notices are served by landlords when repeated or more extreme violations are involved.