Can my landlord evict me for not liking me?

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Can my landlord evict me for not liking me?

This house is being remodeled. We leased the house and they promied to complete all work. They will not give us an estimated time of completion and routinely make arrangements to come in the home and then don’t show up. They are threatening to evict us because they don’t like us asking questions and pressuring them to complere neccessary repairs. We pay our rent on time every month and they accept the rent from us. Can they do this?

Asked on August 29, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The fact that the landlord does not like you, is not a valid reason for eviction.  If the landlord evicts you because the landlord does not like you, you could sue the landlord for retaliatory eviction.  Retaliatory eviction is when the landlord retaliates against the tenant by evicting the tenant for something that is not a breach of the lease.  Asking when the remodeling project and/or necessary repairs will be completed is not a breach of the lease.

Depending on what the "necessary repairs" include, you might have a claim against the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  In every lease, there is an implied warranty of habitability which means the landlord must maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with state and local housing codes.  If the landlord does not make the necessary repairs (which violate the housing code)within a reasonable time, the tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant decides to stay on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.

Without knowing what the specific "necessary repairs" are in your particular case, they may or may not constitute a breach of the implied warranty of habitability. 


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