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What is a “retaliatory” eviction?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2022 | Real Estate Litigation

After notifying your landlord several times about an issue in your apartment, you have run out of patience. The problem has not been repaired or resolved. 

You turn to a state agency that helps tenants in tenant-landlord disputes. After the agency contacts your landlord, you receive a phone call, threatening to evict you because of your phone call to the agency.

Retaliation is seeking revenge for a tenant’s legal action

A retaliatory eviction is a form of seeking revenge. Your landlord is not allowed to threaten to evict you because you exercised your legal right to complain about the upkeep of the property. By not making repairs, your landlord is effectively violating the terms of your lease.

Aside from an illegal threat (or act) of eviction, other retaliatory acts may not be allowed. These include: 

  • Raising the rent after you request repairs
  • Harassing you verbally over the repair requests
  • Accusing you of not paying your rent on time
  • Claiming that you’ve forfeited your security deposit for some bogus reason
  • Small, petty actions, like locking you out of the laundry room
  • Effectively evicting you by changing the locks or turning off the utilities
  • Suddenly writing you up or sending you notices about “problems” that were never a problem before

While your landlord might not appreciate your requests or your actions, they are not allowed to use any kind of retaliatory action against you.

Make sure your landlord follows the lease you signed

Learning about how you can protect yourself in matters related to a retaliatory eviction can help you if something goes wrong. When all else fails, however, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance.