Can the landlord evict me without just cause?

By Tenant

For renters living in their apartments and paying rent diligently, it may come as a big surprise to wake up one morning and receive a 30-day notice posted on your door. When it happened to me, I was very confused. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t even know what I did to deserve such treatment. So I went into the property manager’s office and demanded an explanation. Apparently, they didn’t know anything about it and said that it was the landlord’s decision. The problem is, the landlord would not even talk to me.

So what can I do? What are my rights in this situation? Confused, I went online for some answers. I knew I wasn’t getting any legal advice but it’s worth a try. So here are the things that I found out.

Reasons why a landlord can evict me:

  • Non-payment of rent. He needs to serve me with a 3-day notice and then follow the normal eviction process. (Nope, I’m not guilty. I paid my rent on time – all the time).
  • Violation of a clause(s) in the lease agreement. Examples would be bringing pets if it’s a “no pets allowed” building. Another example would be subleasing, without the landlord’s written consent. (Again, I did not do any of these).
  • Violation of a responsibility that has been enforced by law, like damaging the property or using it as some sort of crime den. (I am have not, do not and will not do this).

However, every state is unique. In California, a landlord cannot evict a tenant without just cause. But in other states, a valid reason may not be required as long as the landlord follows the necessary actions.

Also, if you are no longer in a lease but are on a month to month basis, then the landlord can choose to evict you for whatever reason. Even personal reasons like if your landlord intends to move in or some of his family members will are valid.

You will know if your landlord is following the right process if the letter you received has these:

  1. Name of tenant
  2. Address of the rental property
  3. Reason for the notice to vacate
  4. Number of days until the property is vacant
  5. The landlord’s signature
  6. Date that the notice was given

So I was still in a lease agreement with my landlord, I did not do any of the offenses mentioned above and my landlord has refused to give me a reason why a notice to vacant was sent. The next step I did was to hire a mediator to try to resolve the problem outside of court. For this, I used RPA’s services through their complaint center: Apparently, the notice was given incorrectly and the landlord had to take it back.

When my lease is up, I won’t renew, though. I wouldn’t want to get stuck with this kind of landlord for another year.

Edited on: Monday, February 11th, 2013 8:56 pm

10 Responses to “Can the landlord evict me without just cause?”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


February 11th, 2013 11:00 pm

Yeah, just stay there until your lease is up. Continue to pay your rent on time and when the lease is over, pack your bags and leave. You’ll find better treatment in some other apartment complexes somewhere.


February 12th, 2013 4:00 am

I had a similar experience but my landlord was really fixed on getting rid of me. I don’t have any verifiable income and he knows about that before he rented to me. I am self-employed and I work online as a freelance. I also refurbish antiques and then sell them to ebay. I think he got scared that I will nto be able to pay the rent. Well, guess what, I’m a better payer than the rest of the people in this complex!


February 12th, 2013 9:00 am

I’d love to hear the other side of this story. What was your landlord’s excuse for sending you that notice? Why wasn’t the property manager advised?


February 12th, 2013 2:00 pm

If you have tenant rights, your landlord does too. Respect his rights as he respect yours. If he’s telling you to vacate, there must be a reason and you mustr try everything that you can to talk to your landlord.


February 12th, 2013 7:00 pm

Well, at the end of the day, the landlord still owns the property. Maybe he is planning on selling the property or maybe he is giving it to someone else. Your landlord’s reasons are none of your business as long as he follows your state’s local laws.


February 13th, 2013 12:00 am

If you’re in a lease agreement, your landlord cannot just evict you for no reason. If you are beyond the agreement, then your landlord can evict you anytime as long as the30days has been followed.


February 13th, 2013 5:00 am

Based on my experience, money is usually the main reason why you are being evicted. Maybe you’ve been paying the rent on time but you missed on your utility bills. Landlords are given copies of the utility bills if tenants have repeatedly missed deadlines.


February 13th, 2013 10:00 am

I agree. Aside from the money, there could be an issue on cleanliness. Have you been cleaning your apartment? Because if you haven’t been doing that, then you’re threatening the health and safety of your neighbors.


February 13th, 2013 3:00 pm

There are a lot of other reasons why your landlord would want to kick you out. Have you been very noisy that your neighbors kept complaining? Review what you’ve been doing and whether you have been doing them right or wrong.


February 13th, 2013 10:40 pm

Check your local state laws.


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