Eviction Prevention 101: How to Keep Your Housing Secure

Being a tenant can be tough sometimes.

You have to deal with new neighbours and different rules when you move. And things can worsen when you add an eviction scare to the equation.

No one wants to face this prospect.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid eviction and protect your right to stay in your home.

Let’s explore some of the most effective strategies for stabilising your living situation.

Pay the rent and bills on time

If you really want to keep the apartment you’re living in now, you should be a good tenant and pay every bill on time. Non-payment of the rent is the most common reason landlords file an eviction notice.

Communicate with your landlord

If you have a money problem and think you could be late with the payment, you should give your landlord the proper notice.

Be honest and transparent about your situation, and work together to find a solution that works for both of you.

For example, you could ask for a temporary reduction in rent or offer to make partial payments until you can catch up.

Explore financial assistance programs

Depending on your circumstances, financial assistance programs may be available to help you stay in your home. For example, you may be eligible for emergency rental assistance if you’ve experienced a sudden loss of income or unexpected expenses.

In addition to government programs, there may be nonprofit organisations or other resources in your community that can provide financial assistance or other forms of support.

Research these options and reach out to any relevant organisations for help.

Prioritise your expenses

It’s essential to prioritise your expenses. This means focusing on the most important bills, like rent, utilities, and food, and cutting back on discretionary spending as much as possible.

By prioritising your expenses, you can help ensure you have enough money to cover your basic needs and avoid falling further behind on rent or other bills.

Be a good and upstanding tenant

If you really like the place you live in, you should try to be an exemplary tenant and do things around the property by the rules.

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This means that everything has to stay the same way it was during the check-in report. You’ll have to:

  • Keep the place clean. There are professional end-of-lease cleaning companies that can help with that.
  • Keep the volume down during the night hours.
  • Get along with the other tenants or with your neighbours.

That can be a little difficult if you don’t like the people next door, but you should at least try it. You never know whether you might end up like each other after all.

Sign a long-term lease

Sometimes the eviction problem is not even in you, but it’s in your lease agreement.

When looking for a place, don’t look just at the property–ask if it’s available for a longer time. People often sign lease agreements without thinking about that, and after the lease expires, they aren’t allowed to extend it and are forced to leave.

So, before you sign anything, look at the duration, and if it’s too short, ask the landlord if there’s a possibility for an extension.

Allow regular property visits

For every landlord, knowing that his property is in good condition is really important.

That’s why you should spare some time every month to invite your landlord to the apartment, so he can ensure that there are no damages, leaks and things needing repair.

After all, it’s his job to maintain a certain standard on the property, so if something is wrong, you should let him know immediately.

Know your rights

If nothing helps and you receive an eviction notice, you should ensure the eviction is legal.

Sometimes the landlord is just trying to get rid of you and has no lawful grounds to do it.

As a tenant, you have legal rights that protect you from unfair eviction practices. Ensure you understand these rights and know how to assert them if necessary.

For example, your landlord must provide you with proper notice before initiating eviction proceedings, and they cannot evict you without a court order.

If you believe your landlord is attempting to evict you unfairly or even illegally, you may be able to file a complaint with the legal authorities.

Try to settle the dispute with your landlord

If your landlord has a problem with you and you don’t know what it is, you should try to sit down calmly and discuss your differences. 

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Maybe the problem is not even that big and could be fixed with an effort from both sides. You only need some patience and must be ready for compromise.

Consider mediation

In some cases, mediation may be an effective way to resolve conflicts with your landlord and avoid eviction. This is a process in which a neutral third party helps facilitate a conversation between you and your landlord to find a mutually acceptable solution.

Mediation can be less formal and less expensive than going to court. It may help preserve your relationship with your landlord if you intend to continue living on the property.

Look for mediation services in your area or ask your landlord if they would be willing to participate.

Get legal assistance

If you’re facing eviction, seeking legal assistance is a good idea. A lawyer specialising in landlord-tenant law can help you understand your rights, navigate the eviction process, and potentially negotiate a settlement with your landlord.

Many cities and states have legal aid organisations that provide free or low-cost legal services to low-income individuals and families.

Look for these resources in your community and reach out for help if you need it.

Look for alternative housing options

In some instances, it may not be possible to avoid eviction.

If you’ve exhausted all other options and you won’t be able to live in your current home, start looking for alternative housing options as soon as possible.

The longer you wait, the harder it may be to find a suitable place to live. Moreover, leaving things to the last minute can increase the stress and anxiety of an already difficult situation.

Once you’ve found a new place to live, make the transition as smooth as possible. Inform your landlord of your plans and make arrangements for moving out, such as packing, scheduling an end of lease cleaning service, etc. 

Try to keep your routine as consistent as possible. Doing so can help you maintain a feeling of stability during a challenging time and minimise the disruption to your life.

Final words

Being a tenant sometimes is like being a nomad. You always have to be ready to leave. But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

Resources and support are readily available to help you navigate complex situations and come out on the other side. 

So, if you’re careful and considerate, you can easily learn to avoid eviction and have a more stable and peaceful time in your current residence.