Unfortunately, a virtually unprecedented number of Americans are currently facing eviction due to COVID-19. The pandemic has forced many Americans to live on unemployment benefits, either temporarily as they live on furlough or for the long term following the mass lay-offs that have occurred in many companies due to the pandemic. Even the mighty Disney has been forced to recently lay off 28,000 employees.
Eviction is the worst-case scenario for many Americans, as it is all that stands between them and homelessness. But eviction is not as straightforward as it might seem. In fact, many Americans don’t even understand that there is such a thing as an eviction attorney. If you’re in a precarious situation regarding a potential eviction, you have options available. With that being said, let’s look into some of the things you should know about eviction, well before it is a risk that you need to be worried about.
1. A Fixed Term Lease Has Advantages And Disadvantages
Before you pick up your phone and get in touch with an eviction attorney, you should know about the advantages that you may have through a fixed term lease. Usually, a fixed term lease is a lease that is meant to function for a specific amount of time, like a year, compared to a month to month lease that can exist for a short period of time or an extended period of time depending on the tenant’s specific situation. A fixed term lease works differently in different states, of course. For example, in California, those who have a fixed term lease can expect their landlords to let them know before the end of the term of their lease about whether or not they plan to renew the lease. Usually, this would mean that you as the tenant would know about whether or not your landlord planned to renew the lease about 60 days before the lease expired.
While you may be locked into more of a commitment with a fixed term lease, meaning that you have to pay a penalty if you end up breaking the lease, it’s important for you to be protected for a specific period of time. Both the tenant and the landlord are more protected in a fixed term lease, and it can be much more difficult for you to be evicted in a lease that you have committed to for a specific amount of time, compared to a month to month lease. While being late when paying for a month within a fixed term lease is still cause for concern, you may be comfortable with a fixed term lease versus a month to month lease.
2. You Have Time
Most of the time, you will be given a period of time to pay your overdue rent before being evicted. Though again eviction laws do vary from state to state, you normally would have at a minimum three to five days to pay your rent before being removed from the premises. If you have something to dispute, get in touch with tenant attorneys during this time to explore your options. Remember that not all evictions occur due to unpaid rent, and you deserve a defense in those cases.
3. There Are Different Types Of Notices
When you visit an eviction attorney to explore your options, they may ask about the type of eviction notice you received. This is because there are different types of eviction notices. One would be the classic pay rent or quit notice, which would be issued due to unpaid rent. The cure or quit notice would be issued if you violated a clause of the rent; for example if you kept a pet after signing a lease that required that you lived without a pet. In that case, you would have a chance to rectify the situation. With an unconditional quit notice, you would be told to leave without being given a chance to fix the situation, due to repeated violations. If you haven’t repeatedly committed violations, you may have a civil litigation on your hands.
Ultimately, you have options. If you’ve been wrongly evicted, get in touch with an eviction attorney or law firm and fight for your rights!