Can your landlord evict you without proper notice?

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Can your landlord evict you without proper notice?

Landlord started an eviction. I paid back rent owing $266 and let him know I would pay the rest in the upcoming month. I then found out that his home was not up to code and he shouldn’t be renting it out. So I told him I wouldn’t pay anymore because he was in default with the city. Then 43 days later, with no notice, he had bailiffs come to my home and put me and my family things out. Is this legal?

Asked on June 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

When you say "bailiffs," do you mean actual court officers? If so, then you *should* have gotten some "notice"--not necessarily a notice form per se, but you should at least have received the summons and complaint (and therefore a chance to defend yourself). If the summons and complaint were never served on you, then the eviction may be illegal--though if they were served and you simply ignored them, then the eviction may be proper. Note that all legal evictions must be through the court system. If you think the eviction is illegal, you may have grounds to, even after the fact, bring a legal action seeking reinstatement in the apartment and/or monetary compensation, and if you think this may be the case, you  should speak with an attorney. Note, however, that whether or not the landlord had some legal problems with the city, you still have an obligation to pay rent, IF you want to stay; you have no right to remain in the apartment without paying, regardless of the landlord's own issues. So if the home violated code or the apartment was illegal, that might have given you grounds to terminate the lease early without penalty--but it does not give you grounds to live there without paying rent.


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