If my landlord trying to refinance and threatening eviction if I don’t pretend we’re roommates, what do I do?

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If my landlord trying to refinance and threatening eviction if I don’t pretend we’re roommates, what do I do?

Can I sue for forcing me to be illegal?

Asked on July 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can only be evicted for good cause. If you have a written lease for  a definite duration (e.g. the typical one-year lease), you can typically only be evicted for nonpayment, habitual late payment, violation of material (important) terms of the lease, disturbing the peace of other residents, intentionally or grossly negligently damaging the landlord's property, or other reasons defined in the lease. If you have an oral (verbal) lease or a written month-to-month lease, you may be evicted as above or on 30 days notice. Therefore, your landlord's threat to evict you may be hollow and if it is, you may ignore it.

Even if the landlord could evict--for example, you are a month-to-month tenant, so he/she could give you one-month's notice terminating your tenancy--do NOT do what  the landlord wants; if you do, you will be helping him/her commit fraud and could be liable.

You cannot sue if the landlord can legally evict you, since you can't sue someone for doing something he/she has the right to do. However, if the landlord illegallly or unlawfully tries to evict you--that is, tries to evict you when there are no valid grounds--you may be able to sue.


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