Last updated on February 21st, 2023 at 10:22 am
Laws regarding evictions can vary by state and even city, but in general, a landlord can’t evict a tenant for no reason. In most jurisdictions, landlords must have a valid reason for evicting a tenant, like a violation of the lease agreement, damage to property, or non-payment of rent.
A landlord must follow proper legal procedures even if they have a valid reason for eviction. They have to give the tenant notice and pursue a formal eviction process in court. Failure to do this can result in legal action against them.
In very rare situations can a landlord terminate a lease agreement without cause. For instance, a month-to-month lease can be terminated with proper notice. But even in these cases, a landlord must provide a valid reason for not renewing the lease. If your landlord is attempting to evict you without a valid reason, seek legal advice. Find resources that will help you navigate the eviction process.
Can a Landlord Evict You If There Is No Lease?
Many people, especially the younger generation, think the ability to pay rent is the most important thing when renting an apartment.
They don’t ask important questions or even bother to sign any agreement before occupying an apartment. Sooner or later, they find themselves at loggerheads with the landlords threatening to kick them out for breaching specific tenancy laws.
That’s when they realize that even their money can not save them. And you wonder, “can a landlord kick you out for no reason!” And while the answer to that is an outright “ no,” lack of a valid lease or disregard for what the lease says may be why a landlord evicts you from their property.
Major cities like Washington D.C. and New York City have strict rules that require you to have a lease guarantor with a good credit score before renting their properties. Read on for more reasons leading to eviction without a lease.
My Landlord Wants Me Out What are My Rights?
Despite being bound by terms and responsibilities in the lease agreement, tenants enjoy protection by federal, state, and local laws against unlawful acts by their landlords.
And while such laws may vary by state, here are general tenant rights you need to know.
- Right to end a lease agreement
- Right to know the cause of eviction
- Right to receive an advance eviction notice
- Right to privacy
- Right to a habitable home
- Freedom from discrimination based on age, citizenship, and sexual orientation, among others
- Right to a disability accommodation
Can a Landlord Evict You for No Reason in California?
The California Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB 1482) doesn’t allow landlords to evict tenants from their property without a valid reason. As such, tenants should ask for written notice indicating grounds for eviction according to state laws if the landlord threatens to kick them out.
Can a Landlord Evict You if There is no Lease?
A lease protects the tenant and landlord for the tenancy period. But even without a written lease, most state laws assume the tenant and the property owner have an oral agreement. Thus, eviction is possible even without a lease.
Evicting a tenant with no lease may vary based on the situation. Regardless of the situation, always ensure you follow the right channel during evictions, as taking matters into your hands may land you in problems.
Reasons For Eviction Without Lease
Here are lawful reasons a landlord can evict you without a lease.
- Severe damage of rental property
- Illegal drug use
- Keeping unauthorized pets
- Health, safety, or occupancy violations, like noise pollution
- Failure or refusal to pay rent as per the lease agreement
- Refusal to pay monthly utility bills like electricity, water, or internet
- The owner is seeking to put the property to a different use
- Property being removed from the rental market
It’s illegal to evict a tenant for their race, religion, disability, or any other type of discrimination like sex orientation.
Can a Landlord Evict You For Having Overnight Guests?
A lease agreement clarifies all the rules and regulations of the tenancy. Ensure you read and understand the lease agreement and its terms before signing. Ask questions on things you don’t understand for better clarification.
Some important things to seek clarification may include whether guests are allowed or barred from the property at night.
If the property management allows overnight guests, they might set limits or give conditions regarding how they use the property. These may include the maximum number of guests or the duration they are allowed to stay.
You may need written approval for an extended stay. As the tenant, you’re responsible for the guests’ actions during their stay.
If the landlord prohibits inviting overnight guests or sets rules on their actions, and they still come to see you anyway or breach set codes of conduct, then the landlord has a valid reason to evict you from their property.
Can a Landlord Evict You in The Winter?
According to a recent study, an average of 2.7 million households receive eviction notices from their landlords yearly. These evictions occur throughout the year regardless of the season.
Tenants have no special legal provision to prevent an eviction from occurring during winter or extremely cold weather.
So, yes, a landlord can evict you at any time of the year, including during winter, as long as they follow the proper eviction process.
However, some authorities may hold a valid eviction notice until the temperatures become favorable. States like Washington D.C and Maryland will postpone evictions when temperatures are below freezing.
Countries like Poland, Austria, and France don’t allow evictions when it’s too cold.
I’m Being Evicted With No Place to Go, What Should I Do?
State or federal laws can only protect you as much. That’s why it’s essential to know your rights as a tenant when you first rent an apartment. Only then will you be able to defend yourself or stop unlawful eviction when they occur.
But sometimes, you may need to vacate a landlord’s property after unsuccessfully exploiting the available avenues to stop the eviction. Here’s what you can do if you’re being evicted with nowhere to go.
- Look for local shelters within your city
- Move in with friends or family
- Borrow some money from work or get a loan if your eviction is a result of default in rent payment
- Seek help from charities that help people facing homelessness
- Sell some stuff at home that you may not need
- Live in your car for some time
What Are The Grounds for Immediate Eviction?
Sometimes things get thick, and you have no option but to face immediate eviction from the owners property. Here are legal grounds that may lead to a tenant facing immediate eviction.
- Severe destruction of property
- Default in rent payment contrary to the lease agreement
- Repeated peace disturbance, such as noise pollution despite multiple warnings
- Illegal activities like selling or using drugs or running a business from a rental property
- Subletting the property
Depending on the situation, eviction can always occur immediately if the tenant breaches the lease agreement they signed when moving into the property. Regardless, ensure the landlord follows due process during eviction.