How to prepare for courtregarding back rent payment?

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How to prepare for courtregarding back rent payment?

We are being evicted and taken to court for back rent. I have never been to court before, so what do I need to do to prepare? Also what can/might/will hapen if I can pay the amount before the court date?

Asked on December 13, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you can't pay the rent you owe, you will be evicted; and conversely, if you can pay the amount in full prior to at the date of court, you can stay. The key is that it must be the full amount--even if you pay 90%, if there's 10% still owing, you can be evicted. If you pay prior to court, make sure you can prove payment--i.e. don't pay by cash if you can at all help it (use a check or money order), and if you do pay by cash, get a receipt. Bring proof of payment to court with you, though if paid, the landlord will likely dismiss the action. If you can't pay--and if that's the reason for eviction--there is little you can do; the landlord has a right to evict you. If there are any issues you can bring up in good faith, though, such as that the premises is not habitable because of leaks, mold, etc., bring that up, and bring proof--especially if that's why you did not pay. Habitability issues may stop or delay eviction, or at least give you a counterclaim.


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