What to do about a retaliatory eviction?

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What to do about a retaliatory eviction?

My apartment complex made a mistake and towed my car. I have a small claims lawsuit against them for damage to my car. My lease is up at the end of next month but I went in to the office and signed an extension for another 3 months. The next day they said if I did not take their offer and drop the suit, that I had 60 days to move out. Is this legal isince my lease extension is still good? I have never had a late payment or caused problems in the apartment.

Asked on June 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A tenant may not be evicted simply because he/she has a lawsuit against the landlord. A tenant with a written lease may generally not be evicted during the term of that lease except:

1) for nonpayment;

2) for material (important) breach of lease terms, generally after first receiving notice to cease the violation;

3) for deliberately or recklessly damaging the landlord's property, or for threatening the landlord or its staff;

4) for disturbing the peace (right to "peaceful enjoyment") of the other tenants, after notice to stop doing so; or

5) as otherwise provided by the lease.

So if you have a lease extension in force and are not doing items 1) t 4) above, you should only be evicted during the term of the lease extension if the lease itself gives the landlord the right to evict you on notice. If it does, that provision is enforceable.


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