You try to keep your lifestyle tenant-friendly, but sometimes things happen in your apartment. Maybe you decided to change your space, then realized you might not be allowed to. Maybe you’re not facing eviction, but you fear you might be soon. Maybe you just received an eviction notice and need more information to handle the situation. Why does a landlord need to evict you from an apartment? Whatever your situation, read on to find out.
Can a landlord fire you for that?
Non-payment of rent
If you signed a lease, that document probably makes it pretty clear how much rent you owe and when you owe it. If you don’t pay your rent within the specified time, it’s considered a violation of the terms of your lease, which is a legally binding document. This may be grounds for expulsion. Depending on state or local laws, there may be a “grace period” that allows you to submit your rent a few days late before risking eviction.
You may also be able to pay partial rent now (only temporarily – you will have to pay the rest later) if you find yourself in a bind. It’s best to check the local laws in your area to see what is or isn’t allowed regarding payment grace periods or partial payments. Even if you have an at-will tenancy without a written lease, your landlord can end your tenancy if you don’t pay rent, requiring you to move out after a specified notice period.
Maybe you think your landlord won’t know your super quiet indoor car, or the month you kept your friend’s dog while he was traveling. You might be right, and they’ll never know. But if they do, and your lease has a clear “no pets” policy, you could be in trouble. If you’ve adopted a new pet without telling your landlord, most landlords will send you a notice saying you need to make other arrangements for your pet or pay a pet fine or fee before to kick you out. However, this is not usually required of a landlord, and having an unauthorized pet when your lease clearly states “no pets” can be grounds for eviction.
You might think the boosted subwoofer in your sound system is harmless fun, but could it get you kicked out? Maybe. Some rental agreements will include specific terms regarding noise complaints. For example, a lease may state that a noise violation where law enforcement is called to the premises is grounds for eviction. Other leases may have broader guidelines (and local regulations may also protect you in some cases), so it’s wise to read your lease carefully and see what constitutes grounds for eviction in your specific case.
Failure to Disclose Roommates
When you sign a lease, you agree to be responsible for the property while you live there. If there are other adults over 18 living with you, their names should also be on the lease. Failure to notify your landlord of a change in roommates or an additional person moving in may be grounds for eviction in some states.
Is it the same for minors? Should I speak to an owner about my child? The Fair Housing Act states that a landlord cannot ask you about your marital status during the application process (this is to prevent discrimination), but it’s a good idea to have your children listed as occupants on your lease. In an emergency, your landlord needs to know who needs to be taken care of within your household, including children.
Destruction of property
Although the nuances may differ in local laws, destruction of property is almost always grounds for eviction. Intentionally breaking windows, damaging walls, or causing intentional damage to a landlord’s property is considered property destruction (among other things) and may be grounds for eviction.
“So can I be evicted for repainting my apartment?” This can be a gray area and will often depend on what your landlord considers “destruction of property” versus “unauthorized alterations to property”. Some landlords don’t mind simple changes like painting, but others require approval for any changes to the property, including painting or even nail holes in the walls. Although painting alone won’t get you evicted, you can lose your security deposit.
Can a landlord kick you out of an apartment for smoking? It depends. If your lease says no smoking, then yes, you can be evicted for violating the terms of your lease. Leases can differ significantly on this, but landlords can legally prohibit smoking– be it cigarettes, vapes or other forms of smoking.
Is my rental at risk? What to know about lease violations and evictions
Maybe your landlord is threatening eviction or maybe you have already received an eviction notice. And now? Check out these common eviction questions and answers to help you navigate the situation, and be sure to check your local regulations for additional guidance and specific details.
How many lease violations before eviction is possible?
Unless you live in a state or locality that regulates this, even a breach of lease can technically get you evicted, especially if your lease specifically mentions eviction due to breach of contract. Many landlords don’t want to go through the costly eviction process unless they absolutely have to, so they’ll likely give you a warning. Some leases also specify that certain
How soon do you have to move after the eviction?
In the United States, each state has specific regulations on how long you must move after receiving an eviction notice. This can take anywhere from 3 to 30 days, so check your state laws as soon as possible if you face eviction. If you have an at-will rental agreement (without a written lease or specified lease length), check your lease to determine how much notice your landlord should give you.
It is important to note that terminating an at-will tenancy does not put an eviction on your record. But it can be just as stressful as an eviction, especially if your landlord is hard to work with. Leases and at-will leases have different laws locally, so check your state and city regulations to make sure you know your rights.
Getting kicked out of your apartment? Move out and move on to something better
Dealing with a stressful conflict with a landlord can be difficult. If you think things can’t be resolved, leave your old apartment behind and move into a new space. Use Apartment search advanced filters to help you find a new apartment with the space and amenities you want while staying within your budget.