3 Circumstances to Hire an Eviction Lawyer

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3 Circumstances to Hire an Eviction Lawyer

Staff Writer · Jun 22, 2010

An eviction lawyer can help you to avoid temporary loss of shelter, as well as loss of a security deposit and additional monies that your landlord might sue you for. If you are successful at fighting an eviction, you’ll prevent future rental application denials or setbacks. Prospective landlords do take evictions into consideration when reviewing applications and they tend to not rent to someone who was evicted from a previous apartment. Evictions have such a long lasting effect on your rental history that you should consider hiring an eviction lawyer in at least 3 circumstances:

1 – When You Receive an Eviction Notice

An eviction notice is potentially one step in an eviction proceeding. Some landlords send notices as a way to scare off tenants, or to get them to pay rent with no intention of going to court. However, it can be hard to determine how serious your landlord is about suing you in court, and you really shouldn’t risk calling his bluff. Consider hiring an eviction lawyer when you receive a notice, especially if the landlord-tenant relationship has been tumultuous or your landlord has a history of evicting tenants.

The notice, when delivered to your property, is your cue that a legal chain of events has started. The longer you wait to contact an eviction lawyer, the harder it may be to hire the one you want, due to short notice.

2 – Landlord Shuts off Heat

Some landlords get frustrated, and wrongfully try to evict tenants without going to court. One famous example (famous because it’s done so often), is when a desperate landlord shuts off heat to the apartment in an effort to make life so uncomfortable for the tenant that they leave. It’s time to hire an eviction lawyer if your landlord shuts off the heat or other utilities to your apartment, because it’s illegal for your landlord to do that.

An eviction lawyer can represent you in court to address the issue and work to get your heat turned back on. The landlord may counter sue with his own legal representation in court as well to address the eviction issue. Your eviction lawyer can defend you in a counter suit brought by your landlord at that time.

3 – Landlord Refuses to Make Repairs

You have certain remedies at your disposal according to state laws, if your landlord refuses to make major repairs. Some of these remedies, such as withholding rent, could lead to a landlord launching an eviction proceeding against you. That’s why it’s important to hire an eviction lawyer before responding, to make sure that you have a solid legal defense based on your situation. Your eviction lawyer can consult with you on how to properly document everything for legal purposes and future evidence, and if and when it’s appropriate to stop paying rent.

An eviction lawyer can represent you in a court case, but you can also hire one to get advice and possibly avoid an eviction lawsuit.

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