Prevent an Eviction

Being behind on your rent can be a nightmare. Preventing an eviction can be important if you want to keep your family together in a permanent home. It is also important for stability when applying for and maintaining a job. If you are late on your rent, then you may have some options available for either avoiding or halting an eviction.

To prevent an eviction, you need to either work out an arrangement with your landlord, receive additional cash to use to catch up on your rent or utilize legal options. Your situation will dictate the possibilities of each method, and some methods may be preferred to others.


An arrangement with your landlord can delay an eviction. By sharing details of your hardship with your landlord, it may be possible to convince him or her that you will be able to catch up on the late rent payments if they give you some time. In some cases, a landlord may even be willing to temporarily reduce your rental rate as a sign of good faith to help you remain in the home. Apartment communities may be more difficult to negotiate with, since they have formal eviction policies to abide by. Still, you may be able to negotiate an intermediate arrangement to get caught back up again.

If you believe that it might be more than a couple of months before you can resume normal rent payments, then you may need help with those payments. Loans for rent payments may provide a way to bridge the short-term gap until you can resume paying normal rent plus an extra amount for the arrears. When that may not be possible, then you may need grant-based help for your back rent.

Finally, there may be legal options for delaying an eviction. Some states have strong protections against eviction. The landlord may have very specific steps that must be taken in the correct order before they may proceed with eviction. You likely will have to be formally notified of the eviction according to a timeline determined by state law. Many states require a court order before you can be evicted. Any deviation from these laws can give you a defense against an eviction.

For military Servicemembers, the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) can prevent an eviction if there is reason to believe that it would interfere with your mission. If you receive active duty orders, then your landlord must comply with provisions of SCRA. This could provide your family with additional months to either correct the issues behind the eviction or to find suitable replacement housing. SCRA does not permanently block an eviction. What it does do is provide additional time for you to ensure that you can maintain safe housing for your family during your deployment.

If the apartment is permanently unaffordable, then it may not be useful to fight the eviction. Instead, you may wish to pursue a more amicable split with your landlord. Perhaps they would be willing to voluntarily break the lease and release you from further liability on the remaining term of the lease if you would agree to vacate the premises and turn over the keys. If this is a possibility, it can save money for both parties.

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