What are my options if I received an eviction notice due to non-payment of rent?

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What are my options if I received an eviction notice due to non-payment of rent?

I moved into my rental house in 06/10. It was supposed to have been finished by the time that I moved in, but it wasn’t (and still isn’t). The landlord refuses to do any more work on this house and he has his stuff, fixtures, and other things in a room and in the garage. So I am not able to use 100% of the house. I am behind in rent and received an eviction notice. it said that I to vacate by last month. However, I am still here; I been trying to get him paid and have been making small payments every month to try to stay.

Asked on December 15, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If you have the money to pay the landlord, he must accept it; landlords may not refuse to accept the lawful rent in order to evict tenants.

2) If the house was still  full of the landlord's belongings, he did not give you possession of it as contemplated by the lease, whether written or oral, UNLESS you had actually agreed to allow him to keep his belongings there. He would be in breach of the lease.

3) If there was work which the landlord was supposed to do, pursuant to the lease, or which he had represented he would do in order to get you to sign, and he did not do it, he may be in violation of the lease for that as well, and/or have committed fraud.

4) If any of the work that has not been done renders the premises not safefy or hygenically inhabitable, the landlord may also be violation of the implied warranty of habitabilty.

You may have good grounds to resist eviction and/or to sue the landlord for compensation or a rent reduction. You should speak with an attorney; if you can't afford one, try legal aid or legal services.


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