Feb. 25, 2020

Unlawful Detainer (Eviction)

Eviction cases are called an "unlawful detainer" in court. An unlawful detainer lawsuit is a process a landlord can use to try to make a tenant move out of his or her rental unit. It can also be used to try to get rent that is owed.

A landlord may be able to evict a tenant if the tenant:

  • Fails to pay the rent on time;
  • Breaks the lease or rental agreement and will not fix the problem (like keeping your cat when pets are not allowed);
  • Damages the property bringing down the value (commits "waste");
  • Becomes a serious nuisance by disturbing other tenants and neighbors even after being asked to stop; or
  • Uses the property to do something illegal.

 

A landlord cannot evict a tenant for an illegal reason like discrimination or to get back at the tenant for taking action against the landlord, like filing a complaint because the property’s heating system is broken.

Other types of legal disputes between landlords and tenants are generally handled in small claims court.

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