If you are facing a looming eviction from your home, do not assume that it is a done deal and you will soon be out in the streets. There are defenses to eviction you can use to get a brief or semi-permanent stay. Below is an overview of some of these defenses.
The government doesn't allow landlords just to wake up one day and evict their tenants. Your landlord must serve you with an eviction notice and do it in accordance with your state's real estate laws. Depending on the jurisdiction, the landlord may be required to include things like the offense and the timeframe. Therefore, you can use the improper notice defense if the law requires your landlord to give you notice of 14 days but the landlord wants you to move out within five days.
Your landlord owes you the responsibility of ensuring that the rental premises are always safe and in good working order. Therefore, if the landlord fails in this responsibility and you decide to use your rent to fix the defect, you can use maintenance failure to fight the eviction. The court will require you to prove that you had given the landlord ample time to fix the defect and that you used a reasonable amount of money for the maintenance.
Some landlords decide to evict tenants who raise complaints instead of addressing the complaints. In such a case, you may succeed in staying the eviction if you can prove that the landlord is retaliating against you. Maybe your landlord violated a local building code, and you threatened to report them to the authorities. Instead of fixing the code violation, your landlord decides to evict you before you can make good your threat. In this case, retaliation can be a good defense of your eviction.
The law prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on sex, religion, or race, among other things. Say you recently converted to a different faith, and your landlord doesn't want to continue renting to you anymore. In such a case, you can raise discrimination as a defense to your looming eviction.
The appropriate defense to your eviction depends on the circumstances on the ground. If you raise the wrong defense, you might lose your case and still get evicted. Eviction cases tend to move fast, so it's important to get your case right from the beginning. Consult with a real estate attorney to help you with your eviction if you don't want to move or want more time.