eviction notice to appear in court? what are a person's rights to get a lawyer

by Bonnie Hettinger 5 min read

Landlords typically do not need to have any type of legal representation for an eviction hearing. You have the right to have a lawyer if you would feel more comfortable, but the cost is usually exorbitant compared to what you can gain from the eviction.

Full Answer

Why do I need an attorney to fight an eviction notice?

This is to encourage the parties to cooperatively come to an agreement. If the tenant has good reason to defend against the eviction notice, then they should hire a qualified attorney to argue on their behalf in court.

What do you need to know about eviction notice?

An eviction notice, or an eviction letter, is a legal document that landlords use to evict tenants for not complying with the original terms of the lease or rental agreement. The notice officially states: The tenant must fix or “cure” the problem at hand;

When does a landlord have the right to evict a tenant?

Step 1: Lease Expires or Is Violated Landlords can evict tenants for a variety of different reasons depending on the state. Typically, landlords must have a valid reason to evict a tenant unless the lease/rental agreement has expired, such as nonpayment of rent, illegal activity, and lease violations.

What happens if a tenant does not show up for eviction?

If Your Tenant Doesn’t Show Up To The Hearing It might sound hard to believe, but it is possible that your tenant will be a complete no-show for the eviction hearing! In situations where the tenant does not appear for the hearing or doesn’t respond to the complaint, the court may allow a default judgment at the landlord’s request.

What are the Texas laws on eviction?

Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent In Texas, a landlord must provide a written 3-day notice to vacate to a tenant who's failed or is unable to pay their rent. If after 3 days, the tenant still fails to pay the outstanding amount, the landlord can go to court and file the Forcible Entry and Detainer Suit.

How long does the eviction process take in South Carolina?

30 to 45 daysThe eviction process normally takes from 30 to 45 days in South Carolina. What are the steps towards eviction? If your landlord decides to evict you, you will receive a written notice and the reason for your eviction. This reason can be because a failure to pay rent or violating the lease.

How can I stop an eviction in PA?

If the eviction case was only for nonpayment of rent, you may stop the eviction any time before you are actually evicted by paying the amount the Magisterial District Judge ordered, including court costs. This is called the right to pay and stay.

How do I fight an eviction in Texas?

All tenants have the right to challenge an eviction in court. Eviction cases start in a Texas Justice of the Peace Court. If your case is not successful there, you have five days to appeal the eviction. At the very least, fighting an eviction in court typically adds at least a month to the process.

How do I fight an eviction in South Carolina?

To begin the eviction lawsuit in South Carolina, also called an ejectment action, the landlord must file an affidavit with the court. An affidavit is a sworn statement by the landlord that provides details on the reasons the tenant should be evicted. Once filed, the court will then issue an order to show cause.

Do you have 30 days after eviction notice?

Your landlord must give you a written Eviction Notice, sometimes called a "Notice To Quit." If you do not have a lease, the Notice will tell you that you have either 7 days or 30 days to move out.

How can I stop an eviction after court order?

Stopping an Eviction You can ask for a Court hearing to stop the eviction yourself if you can't get to see an adviser in time. But you must do this before the date of eviction or it will be too late. If there is time before the eviction date and you need help find a local adviser.

How long do you have to move out after eviction in PA?

1. If the eviction is NOT for failure to pay rent, the landlord must give you 15 days notice if the lease is for 1 year or less, and 30 days notice if the lease is for more than 1 year. If the eviction is for nonpayment of rent, the landlord must give you 10 days notice.

What are renters rights in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania tenants are legally entitled to a rental that meets basic structural, health, and safety standards. It must also be in good repair pursuant to the landlord's implied warranty of habitability, an implied right in every written or oral residential lease.

What happens when you go to court for eviction in Texas?

To lawfully evict a tenant in Texas and fully repossess your property, you or an agent acting on your behalf must file an eviction suit in the correct Justice of the Peace Court. The court will set a hearing date and notify both the landlord and the tenant when the eviction trial will take place.

How long do you have to move out after an eviction notice in Texas?

Until a writ of possession is issued, the tenant can remain in their home. Step 1: Written Notice to Vacate. Unless the lease agreement says otherwise, the landlord must give the tenant at least 3 days to move out. They cannot file an eviction suit before they give this notice in writing.

What is unfair eviction?

Harassment and illegal evictions. It's a crime for your landlord to harass you or try to force you out of a property without using proper procedures. If this happens, you may have a right to claim damages through the court.

How much notice should a landlord give a tenant to leave?

It depends on what state you’re in and your reason for evicting the tenant. You need to give the tenant the proper number of days’ notice required...

What happens if I receive an eviction notice?

While the notice is not a court order to leave, do not ignore it. An eviction notice allows the landlord to start the eviction process in court if...

How can I evict a tenant fast?

The fastest way to evict a tenant is to follow the correct legal procedure from the beginning , so you don’t wind up in a lengthy lawsuit. Make sur...

Do I need a lawyer to evict a tenant?

You don’t need a lawyer to evict a tenant. However, you may consider hiring a lawyer to help you if: This is your first eviction The tenant is fil...

What happens at an eviction hearing?

At the eviction hearing, whether it’s the first hearing, the second hearing, or a jury trial, one of two things can happen: 1 The court rules in favor of the tenant 2 The court rules in favor of the landlord

How long does a tenant have to give notice of eviction?

The notice period is typically tied to the type of tenancy, with week-to-week tenants usually receiving 7 days’ written notice and month-to-month tenants typically receiving 30 days’ written notice. NOTES.

What is the purpose of a rent repayment hearing?

In states that schedule two hearings, often the initial hearing is designed to give the landlord and tenant the chance to work out an agreement to allow the tenant to remain in the rental unit, such as creating a rent re-payment schedule if the eviction is due to nonpayment of rent.

What happens if a tenant doesn't move out?

However, if the tenant is not able to correct the issue, or isn’t given the option to correct the issue and fails to move out by the deadline in the notice, then the landlord can proceed with the next step in the eviction process, which is filing an eviction action with the court.

Why is retaliatory eviction called retaliatory eviction?

These are called retaliatory evictions because it can appear that the landlord is trying to “get back” at the tenant for exercising their rights. If the rental unit is in a state that does not require written notice prior to beginning an eviction action, landlords may skip directly to step 4 below.

What is the first step in evicting a tenant?

Step 1: Lease Expires or Is Violated. Landlords can evict tenants for a variety of different reasons depending on the state. Typically, landlords must have a valid reason to evict a tenant unless the lease/rental agreement has expired, such as nonpayment of rent, illegal activity, and lease violations.

What happens if a tenant fails to move out of a rental?

If the tenant fails to move out within their state’s deadline, then in nearly every state, law enforcement officials will return to the rental unit and forcibly remove (or evict) the tenant from the rental unit. See the chart below for the amount of time given to tenants to move out prior to being forcibly removed.

Can I stop an eviction after getting an Eviction Notice?

Yes, it may be possible to stop an eviction after you have received an Eviction Notice. Receiving this notice typically does not mean you will be evicted right away. Most likely, it simply means your landlord thinks you have broken one or more of the terms of your lease.

What does an Eviction Notice need to say to be legal?

Each state has its own rules about what Eviction Notices must say to be legal, but they generally must include the following:

Will an eviction stay on my permanent record?

Receiving an Eviction Notice does not affect your permanent record, even if you choose to move out of the property instead of fighting the eviction.

How do I find out if fighting an eviction makes sense?

Fighting an eviction may not be the best idea. Often, if tenants cannot correct the problem that prompted the Eviction Notice, and the notice was done legally, fighting it could lead to more severe legal consequences. Getting legal help early is very important, as missing deadlines could mean missing your chance to fight an eviction.

What is the process of eviction?

While there are specific variations from state to state, the eviction process follows a fairly specific series of steps that landlords must properly execute in order to remove a tenant from a rental property.

What happens if you win an eviction case?

If you win the eviction case, the judge will issue the terms of how the eviction will final out. The landlord will be granted a writ of possession that shows they may take rightful possession of the property with help from law enforcement.

How does a landlord deliver a notice?

The landlord delivers the notice via the acceptable methods of hand delivery at the rental unit or via certified mail, then waits for the tenant to comply or leave the premises. If the deadline passes and the tenant does not comply or vacate, the landlord begins an unlawful detainer lawsuit with the local court.

What is the best way to ensure a favorable outcome for a landlord?

When a landlord has an eviction hearing, the best way to ensure a favorable outcome is to be prepared well in advance so there is no question about what happened and that the judge will have no choice but to believe the landlord’s side of things.

How to prepare for eviction?

Prepare for court by choosing the right outfit, planning out what you want to say, and preparing your documentation. Stay calm and respect everyone in the courtroom throughout the hearing. The best way to prepare for eviction is to do everything you can to prevent evictions from happening at all.

What happens if you don't show up to court?

If you don’t show up and the tenants do, you could actually end up owing them money for the associated court costs.

What documents do landlords need to turn over to the judge?

Here are some of the documents landlords may need to bring copies of to turn over to the judge: Lease agreement. Official notices. Emails, notes, or letters from the tenant.

When To Get A Lawyer

There are many reasons why you may need a lawyer during your eviction process. The most common and obvious would be if your landlord wants to evict you without proper cause or formal warning.

Eviction Process

To clearly understand your rights as a tenant you should know how the eviction process works. It’s important to remember that not all evictions are legal or justified, and for this reason, it can be easy to defend yourself.

The Role Of A Lawyer In An Eviction Case

After reviewing all the information, you might be tempted to think that only “guilty” tenants need a lawyer. However, it’s important to know that even if you are innocent having an expert on your side will benefit you in multiple ways.

What Are The Common Reasons For Eviction?

While every situation is different and will vary depending on where you live, there are a few common reasons people get eviction notices. They include:

What Are The Consequences Of An Unjustified Eviction?

After the judge has ruled whether or not you are being evicted justly, they will notify both parties of their decision. If you are being legally evicted then the court cannot do anything to change this outcome, but if it’s ruled that you are being wrongfully evicted then the ruling will benefit you.

How Long Does An Eviction Process Take?

It’s difficult to estimate how long an eviction will take since every state’s laws are different. Some states allow landlords to evict tenants without a court order, while some require a judge’s approval.


Now that we have covered the basics of an eviction notice, it’s important to know that there are often legal implications if you receive one. If you are being wrongfully evicted it’s important to be aware of your rights and consult with a lawyer before anything else.

What happens when you file an eviction notice?

Once the eviction notice is filed with a local court, then the clerk will send a summons to the tenant and also provide the landlord with a court date for a hearing. At this stage, both the landlord and the tenant should be collecting evidence to support their arguments for and against the eviction at the hearing.

What to do if tenant is evicted?

If the tenant has good reason to defend against the eviction notice, then they should hire a qualified attorney to argue on their behalf in court. This can help ensure a more successful outcome due to the legal procedures involved and certain evidence that the tenant may not know to gather themselves.

Why would a landlord want to evict a tenant?

There are many different reasons for why the landlord may want to evict a tenant from a rental property, including: If the tenant has breached the terms of their lease or rental agreement (e.g., smoking in a non-smoking building or keeping pets despite no-pet conditions in the lease); and.

What to do if tenant forgot to pay rent?

If the tenant simply forgot to pay rent or is now in a situation where they are able to pay it, then the tenant should alert the landlord and make the payments.

What happens if a landlord removes a tenant's personal property?

If the landlord removes a tenant’s personal property before the eviction order is granted, then the tenant will have grounds to sue for illegal possession of property and any associated damages done to the property that were caused by the landlord’s illegal actions.

How long do you have to leave a house if you are not a tenant?

If a court rules in favor of the landlord, then the tenant will have a certain amount of days to leave the premises. If they have not left after the time period has expired, then the landlord may contact local law enforcement to have the tenant arrested and removed.

When should landlord and tenant come to their own agreement?

This should happen either before the landlord sends a formal eviction notice or the tenant should reach out to the landlord immediately after they receive it. This is especially true if the reason for the eviction is based on missing rent payments.

John V. Salierno

If you were seeking to evict the tenant without the services of an attorney you would need to appear in person. Take the day off from work and go. If the tenant wishes to try the case, you will need to appear anyway.

Christopher Roy Higgins

You still must appear. An attorney appearing at the calendar call might delay a default if you are late, but if you do not show at all, you will still be in default.

Alexander O Bentsen

You still must appear, even with an attorney representing you. Parties to a lawsuit must always appear in court at the time of trial since they must testify as to the facts. An attorney cannot testify, only a person with actual first-hand knowledge of the situation is permitted to do so.

Richard Jonathan Cahan

Are you the only person in your company that has personal knowledge of the nonpayment of rent? If not, you can send any representative to justice court. I wouldhave thought you would discussed this with your attorney as well before asking this forum. Otherwise, I agree with the previous Texas counsel.

Allen Landerman

You should hire an attorney to file a Motion for Continuance, and appear at the hearing to urge the continuance (which the court may or may not grant). Your testimony will be needed at any substantive hearing. Your lawyer can also ask that you be allowed to appear at the hearing by phone (which the court may or may not grant).

Dorothea Elaine Laster

Either you or your lawyer needs to appear. It's that simple and that direct. Case was likely to be dismissed if you do not

Fred T Isquith

If you don't attend and the tenant does, you'll lose. If you send an attorney in your place and the attorney attempts to tender evidence for which s/he lacks firsthand knowledge, you'll lose. Best idea is to go ahead and engage an attorney, but ask her to obtain a continuance until you return. Most JP Courts are willing to do so.

Stuart A. Lautin

This is a landlord/tenant issue. I am going to repost under that section for better results.

Where do landlords file evictions?

In some states, landlords file evictions in small claims court , which is a very user-friendly court not only for lawyers but also for non-lawyer landlords and tenants.

Do you have to be a lawyer to file an eviction?

In many states, however, evictions are filed in regular courts, which are governed by various rules and procedures under your state’s tenant laws. If you are appearing in court for eviction or any other lawsuit, you are held to the same standard as a lawyer. In other words, you are responsible for following all procedures, just as if you were a lawyer.

Can a landlord evict you if you don't serve the eviction notice?

Landlords are required to follow certain rules for evicting tenants. For instance, if your landlord doesn’ t properly serve you the eviction notice, the court shouldn’t evict you. If you’re not a lawyer, you’re likely not aware of these rules, and your landlord may get away with wrongfully evicting you. A judge also can’t give you legal advice about how to handle an eviction, so you’re totally on your own if you don’t know what to do in court.