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To evict renters, the property owner must file an unlawful detainer with the court that documents a legitimate reason for eviction, such as nonpayment of rent, failing to vacate after proper notice, or the tenant’s violation of a drug or nuisance agreement.
If you believe you are being evicted from rental property without sufficient reason, it is in your best interest to immediately consult an Opelika eviction and unlawful detainer lawyer to protect your rights and respond to the landlord within a short specified period of time. The lawyer can explain the law and determine if the landlord is acting improperly.
When you are faced with the loss of your home, nothing else seems as important. What is important is finding an experienced lawyer who knows how to protect your rights under the law. A firm understanding of eviction law and experience with your type of case is critical for a positive outcome. The LawInfo directory can help you find verified eviction lawyers near Opelika.
The timeline for an eviction process can vary, but generally, it starts with a waiting period of a few weeks to a month or more that rent goes unpaid before a landlord can file a notice to quit, which puts the eviction into motion. The landlord must then file more paperwork with the court, such as a summons to notify the tenants of the impending court date. It can take a few weeks from the summons until the parties will actually appear in court. If the court grants the eviction, the tenants may get a month or so before they actually have to vacate the property. All in all, depending on the state, the process will take a couple of weeks to a few months, and can take even longer if the tenants file appeals or seek to move the case to a different court.
Evictions will typically stay on your rental history for seven years, as will any record of late payments on your credit report. Evictions will also be removed from any public records after seven years. In most cases, these changes should happen automatically and you won’t need to take any steps to fix your records.
The length of time you have before you need to move out after an eviction will vary. People who are elderly or who have certain physical or mental disabilities may get a longer timeline before they have to vacate, for example. Most people will get a few days before they have to be fully moved out. The exact timeline should be clearly explained during the eviction hearing. If you don’t move out by that time, the landlord can call the local police to come remove you, though they usually have to give you a few days notice that this physical eviction is coming.
An eviction order has to come from a court in order to be valid. A landlord can’t just tell the tenant to move out or change the locks, they have to go through the right legal process. This includes giving the tenant an eviction notice that provides them with information like the reason for the eviction and if there’s anything the tenant can do to remedy the situation before it moves forward. The landlord will need to file the right forms with the court to obtain the notice. Each jurisdiction has specific rules on what a notice needs to include and how it must be delivered to the tenant for it to be legal. The tenant will then have a time limit for a proper response to the court, at which point an eviction hearing will get scheduled.
While there are some persistent consequences to getting evicted, a specific hit to your credit report isn’t usually one of them. Evictions will show up on a rental history report, and in some cases, the overdue or unpaid rent may be reported if your landlord sold the debt to a collection agency, but there shouldn’t be a negative impact on your overall credit score because of the eviction itself. The impact on your rental record may cause complications when you go to find new housing, and the eviction order may be a matter of public record that some agencies can access, however.
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic “road map” on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you’ve laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.
Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.