Receiving a notice of eviction can be embarrassing as well as scary. Landlords may evict tenants for failing to pay rent and possibly for breaching lease agreements. Every state has different laws regarding eviction, but many have the same process for starting and stopping a sheriff eviction. You will typically receive a notice to vacate from your landlord. After a certain period of time, he will then file a complaint with the court. A hearing will then be scheduled on the matter. There are a few things you can do within the court system and a number of services that could be available to you if you prove eligible.
Show up to the court hearing. When you receive a summons from the court with the complaint for eviction, you will receive notice of the hearing. This is your chance to explain to the judge your side of the story. You can present evidence that you did pay rent or proof that the lease was not broken. Ignoring the hearing does not help you. The court could actually, and most of the time does, grant the landlord's eviction.
File a motion to stay the eviction. A motion to stay is a formal request to the court asking for more time. This would be filed after the hearing if the judge grants the eviction. Typically, you must show the court good reason to grant you more time. Good reason may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but could include having a sick or disabled household member or having nowhere else to go. It is usually at the judge's discretion to determine what good reason is.
Contact Legal Aid in your area. Legal Aid provides assistance to individuals who have limited income. Click on the Directory link in the Resources to find Legal Aid in your state. You may also be eligible for assistance through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Also provided in the Resources is a link to HUD, where you can find assistance in your area.
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