You've been living in your same apartment for quite some time. You do your best to pay your rent on time and adhere to the various rules and regulations contained within your contract. Just when you thought everything was going well, you open your mailbox and find an eviction notice. There was no warning, and no apparent reason - just a signed letter from your landlord telling you to move out within 30 days.
Others in North Carolina have gone through similar experiences. Many have successfully fought against well-intentioned landlords, especially those who knew there were more to their situations than what immediately met the eye. Some have been victims of racial discrimination. Others faced accusations of not paying rent, when in fact they had records to prove otherwise.
You can't control someone else's actions. With regard to eviction, this means you obviously have no control over what type of mail your landlord sends you. However, you can do something about it when you know your landlord is attempting to push you out of your home for wrongful reasons. Keeping the following in mind may help when preparing to take action:
- Checking the laws regarding landlord/tenant agreements and evictions in your state is always a good idea.
- Most landlords must abide by strict protocol when it comes to terminations and evictions.
- Any landlord who attempts to take the law into his or her own hands can be held legally accountable. For instance, if you come home and can't get into your apartment because the lock has been changed, your landlord may be acting unlawfully.
- Retaliation is not a legal reason to evict a tenant. If your eviction notice just happened to arrive shortly after you reported your landlord to a building code inspector or some other official, it might be a red flag that the landlord is acting out of revenge.
Such situations can be quite complicated, and if you plan to fight against a wrongful eviction, you'll likely face various challenges along the way. Knowing your rights, as well as gaining an understanding of any and all laws that pertain to your circumstances may help obtain a swift and agreeable solution to your problem.
It is often beneficial to discuss such situations with someone who has knowledge and/or prior experience regarding similar incidents. Perhaps you have a friend who battled it out in court with a landlord in the past. Another person who can offer support and guidance is an attorney who has handled various commercial and residential landlord/tenant issues. As your legal advocate, an attorney can correspond with your landlord on your behalf and is also prepared to aggressively litigate a particular issue as needed.