How to Stop an Eviction

By PropertyClub Team
Sep 4th 2023
Receiving an eviction notice can be frightening, but it’s always best not to panic. There are ways that you can delay or even stop the eviction process and stay in your apartment without doing damage to your credit or rental report. Here are the steps you should take to stop an eviction.

hash-markCan an Eviction Be Stopped?

Yes, you can stop an eviction; however, you must be able to show evidence that you’ve made attempts to remedy the situation or you are being wrongfully evicted. Tenants are typically evicted for violating the lease terms by failing to pay rent or engaging in prohibited behavior.

So, if you can show evidence that you’ve paid what you owe or ceased engaging in the prohibited behavior, you can stop an eviction. Alternatively, if you can prove that the landlord is falsely accusing you, you can also prevent the eviction from moving forward. However, you must present substantial evidence and follow the necessary steps.

hash-mark5 Ways to Stop an Eviction

  1. Pay the Back Rent
  2. Comply with the Eviction Notice
  3. Negotiate with the Landlord
  4. Hire a Lawyer
  5. State Your Case in Court

1. Pay the Back Rent

The most common reason tenants face eviction is failing to pay rent on time. So, if you find yourself in this situation, the easiest way to stop the eviction is to pay the rent you owe. Evictions are very costly to the landlord as well, so most will be willing to work with you if you pay back what is owed and promise to make payments on time for the remainder of the lease.

Even if they’ve already filed an eviction notice, the courts will usually be more lenient if you pay your back rent at some point before the marshal evicts you. Evictions are difficult and time-consuming for all the parties involved, so if you are willing to repay your debts, it will go a long way toward convincing the landlord or the judge to reverse the eviction.

Here are a few options for raising the money if you don’t have it:

  • Dip into your savings or retirement account
  • Take out a loan
  • Borrow money from a relative
  • Sell Your valuables
  • Seek assistance from a local non-profit or community organization

Even if you have to take on some debt to fix the situation, it’s usually better than permanently damaging your rental history and losing a place to live.  

2. Comply with the Eviction Notice

Another option is to comply with the eviction notice and demonstrate that you will remedy any behavior violating the lease terms. For example, if the landlord is evicting you for having an unapproved pet, if you can find a new home for the animal before the landlord moves forward with the eviction proceedings, you can likely get them to stop the process.

Even if they decide to continue with the eviction, if you can show that you’ve taken steps to remedy the situation, you can often have the case dismissed. The only scenario where this may be unfeasible is if the landlord is evicting you for committing a crime on the premises. For example, if you were selling drugs out of the apartment, it may be hard to plead your case even if you’ve since stopped.

3. Negotiate with the Landlord

Negotiating with the landlord is another way to stop an eviction. Most landlords don’t want to have to evict a tenant unless it’s absolutely necessary, so if you speak to them directly, you may be able to find common ground.

Maybe you can’t afford to pay all your back rent at once, but you can agree to some form of an installment plan and pay a higher monthly rate until the entire debt has been satisfied. Or if you’re being evicted for smoking in the apartment, maybe you can reason with them and agree to smoke outside from now on.

Landlords are human at the end of the day and may be open to stopping the eviction if you are willing to take responsibility and find a solution. However, it also depends on the landlord and what your prior relationship with them was like.

4. Hire a Lawyer

If you can’t reason with the landlord, the next step is hiring a lawyer to help you build a case. Finding representation is especially important if you believe you’re being wrongfully evicted and the landlord is at fault.

Say you are being evicted because you stopped paying rent after the landlord failed to maintain a habitable environment. Or if you were a few days late on the rent and the landlord decided to perform a self-help eviction by changing the locks.

A good lawyer will let you know your rights as a tenant and help you prove that you are not at fault. Plus, if you’ve taken the appropriate steps to remedy the situation by paying back rent or stopping the prohibited behavior, yet the landlord is still moving forward with the eviction, they can help you file a motion to dismiss the eviction order. Often, just letting the landlord know you have representation will be enough to convince them to stop the eviction themselves. 

5. State Your Case in Court

If you’ve done everything you can think of and the landlord still won’t stop the eviction, the final step is to plead your case in court. Gather as much evidence as you can and try to demonstrate that you have either made repeated attempts to remedy the situation or that you were not the one at fault in the first place. Having a good lawyer will also help you prepare for this process. Although it isn’t always easy to win an eviction case as a tenant, it is possible if you have a solid argument and evidence to back it up.

hash-markStopping an Eviction Bottom Line

Being served with an eviction notice can be very stressful, but it’s important to remain calm. You have a few options to stop the eviction process before it goes before a judge. If all else fails, you can always hire an attorney and present your case in court.

hash-markHow to Stop an Eviction FAQs

Can You Stop an Eviction After a Court Order?

Yes, it is possible to stop an eviction after a court order by paying the back rent in full or asking the judge to set aside the eviction order based on new legal evidence that the eviction should not have been granted.

Can You Stop an Eviction Once It’s Filed?

Yes, it is still possible to stop an eviction at any point up until the marshals physically remove you from the apartment, but it becomes increasingly difficult as the process advances to take action as quickly as possible.

Can an Eviction Judgement Be Reversed?

Yes, you have a right to appeal the eviction judgment however, you will likely need to present compelling evidence as to why the initial decision was incorrect.

Can You Stop an Eviction By Paying?

Yes, if the only reason you are being evicted is for non-payment, you can often stop the eviction proceedings by paying what you owe in full.