Five key things to know and do if your landlord wants you to leave:

  1. Do not immediately move out just because your landlord tells you. There is a process. The landlord must give you notices and go to court. This takes time. Even if the judge agrees with the landlord, you will still have 14 more days after the judge's decision. 
  2. Review and understand all the documents. Example: You get a rent demand notice or a different notice about a lease violation. You may be able to pay your rent or fix a violation. Check what each notice is about, and your deadlines. If you don't understand, contact the court or get a lawyer.  
  3. Gather your documents. If you have documents to help your case, organize them. Examples: Section 8 documents, copy of the lease, rent receipts, communications with your landlord, photos of bad conditions, and more.  Print and copy all the documents. The judge won't look at pictures on your phone.
  4. Know your court date and time.  Take time off work, get child care (and back up). If you have a serious emergency (in the hospital, or very sick) contact the court in advance.
  5. Get help to pay your rent. Learn more about help paying rent from state, county, or city agencies, or nonprofits. Call 2-1-1 for more information.

It is a crime for landlords to:

  • threaten, harass, intimidate you
  • mess with your utilities
  • lock you out
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Last Reviewed: September 20, 2023