It’s not just the fact that you’re facing eviction, but the fact you’ve been evicted from your home.
It may sound like an easy question to answer, but eviction lawyers have different approaches to the situation.
In fact, the best legal practice to help you through this stressful time is one that’s designed specifically for you, says Lisa Tompkins, who runs the online legal advice service Legalize.ca.
“If you’ve lost your home, you’re going to need help, and you may not have a choice,” she says.
“You’re going through this very difficult time and you’re not in a position to get any advice.”
What is eviction?
“An eviction is when you are ordered to leave,” explains Lisa Tampins.
“It’s when you’re told that you are in default and you are not in your right to your home or property.
It can be very stressful, but we’re here to help.”
Tampins points out that eviction is the process that takes place when you lose your home because you can’t pay rent or rent your home to someone else.
“That’s a very real threat and it’s an eviction, so there is an immediate danger that you won’t be able to afford to pay rent,” she explains.
“So you may be required to vacate and you will be left without any income.”
A common problem is not paying rent, but instead, evictions are also a matter of “right to know,” says Tampkins.
“You know you have an eviction but you don’t know what’s going to happen to your rights.”
If you’re evicted for a breach of contract, or you’re being evicted because your landlord is threatening to go ahead with a demolition, you have no recourse.
If you think you’ve fallen behind on rent and that your landlord’s eviction is unjust, you may have to pay back the money you paid to have your home demolished.
And it’s not a matter for the courts.
Tampkins explains that if you have a contract that you’ve breached, you can file a claim with the court and get your case heard.
But even if you’ve signed a lease, you don´t have legal representation, and the court won’t hear your case.
“We can’t give you advice on whether you should be represented in the courts,” says Lisa.
“What we can say is that you have the right to know what happens to your right and you should have a lawyer who will give you the legal advice you need.”
It’s a complex situation, and one that involves both you and your landlord, but Tampos says she can provide you with advice on how to navigate that process.
Tampa Bay landlord Alex Janson says he has an eviction case on his hands.
“They are evicted, so they’ve got to pay their rent, and I’ve got three weeks left on my lease,” says Janson.
“And if they don’t pay me, they can go ahead and demolish the house.
So I’ve been living in a one-bedroom apartment with two roommates, and now I’m going to have to move in with my roommate.”
What’s in it for you?
“It may be hard to understand the process, but it’s a matter that should be decided in your best interests,” says Amy Macdonald, who practices law in Florida.
“I have a mortgage and a car loan, so I have an obligation to pay the rent on time, and to be able afford to keep the house,” she adds.
“In order to be fair, we need to be sure that there’s a realistic possibility that you will not be able or willing to pay for your home.”
If eviction happens because of a breach in a contract, you also have to take the matter to court, says Macdonald.
“It is very common in the eviction process for a tenant to be evicted in order to get a breach-of-contract claim.”
What are the rules?
“The process of an eviction is very complex,” says MacDonald.
“So you have to look at a number of different things to make sure that you don`t get evicted before you can have your dispute with your landlord heard in court.”
According to Macdonalds, the process can be quite time consuming.
“For example, if you want to go to court to contest an eviction that has been made against you, you must go to the court within the allotted time,” she notes.
“The court will review the facts of the case and decide if there’s enough evidence to proceed with the case.”
“So in order for you to go forward with your eviction claim, you’ll have to prove that you weren’t able to pay your rent or if you had a contract breach that was not covered by the terms of your lease,” she concludes.
The eviction process in Florida varies,