Eviction is a very scary reality for countless families in the D.C. area. If your family is amongst those facing the loss of your home, then you’re probably fearful about what the future has in store for you. You might also feel cheated by your landlord who is pushing you out of your home for unjustifiable reasons. But you don’t have to simply accept what your landlord says. Truth be told, you might have strong eviction defense options available to you.
Housing code violations
Your landlord has a duty to ensure that your housing is habitable. Therefore, if your unit needed significant repairs that you landlord knew about and failed to remedy, then you may have been justified in not paying your rent. To avail yourself of this defense, though, you’ll need evidence of your living conditions at the time of non-payment, and you’ll have to show that you and your family were not responsible for the issue at hand. This is just one reason why it’s important to take pictures of problems with your unit and retain all email and phone communications that you have with your landlord about the needed repair.
The claim has been improperly brought
Landlords can’t just up and file an eviction lawsuit. They have to follow the law, which means providing you with a Notice to Quit. This notice will tell you when you have to vacate the premises and how much you owe in back rent. If this notice isn’t properly given, then you can probably, at the very least, delay eviction proceeding. This could give you time to get caught up on your rent and retain your housing.
Far too often, we see landlords seek to evict people from their homes simply because a complaint is made to the landlord or some sort of government organization. In other instances, landlords evict because a tenant is tries to organize other residents to bring about change at the property in question. This retaliation, as well as discrimination (which we will discuss in a future post), can be a powerful defense to your eviction case.
Acquire the help you need to protect your family
These are just a few of the many eviction defenses that might be available to you. With so much on the line, you owe it to yourself and your family to know which defenses best position you for success and how to build the aggressive legal arguments you need. Attorneys who are skilled in this area of the law stand ready help you do just that.