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What Happens When You Do Not Pay Rent

Published by Handy Work on

What happens if you are not paying rent is a question that often pops up in the minds of tenants. A lot of tenants are not sure whether they should just pay the rent and not ask questions or raise a concern or file a complaint.

The first thing you need to know is that it is important to understand what kind of tenancy you have. If you are a tenant at will, you can quit your tenancy anytime with or without notice and do not have to provide any reason for doing so.

However, if you are a tenant at sufferance, you cannot quit your tenancy without giving proper notice and for a good reason.

If You Are A Tenant At Will

In this case, if you are not paying rent, your landlord can evict you from the property by filing an unlawful detainer lawsuit against you.

Your landlord must give you three days’ notice before filing the lawsuit and if he/she does so after three days then they must give a reason for the delay in giving notice.

If they do so after three days but give a valid reason for the delay then they may file an eviction lawsuit against you even after three days have passed since the date on which rent was due.

If your landlord does file an eviction lawsuit against you, then you will have five days to respond to the lawsuit.

You should be aware that if your landlord wins the unlawful detainer lawsuit, then he/she can evict you from the property and you may also have to pay for all court costs.

You may also be held liable for rent arrears and any other damages that your landlord suffered due to you not paying rent.

If You Are A Tenant At Sufferance

If you are a tenant at sufferance, then you cannot quit your tenancy without giving proper notice and for a good reason. If you do not pay rent, then your landlord can serve a three-day notice on you.

If he/she does so after three days but gives a valid reason for the delay in giving notice, then they may serve a three-day notice on you even after three days have passed since the date on which rent was due.

In this case, the notice must give proper reasons for termination of tenancy and must provide an alternative place where the tenant can stay until his/her lease is over.

It is important to note that if there is no alternative place where the tenant can stay, then it is illegal for him/her to serve a three-day notice.

If your landlord serves a three-day notice on you, then you will have five days to respond to the notice. You should be aware that if your landlord wins the unlawful detainer lawsuit, then he/she can evict you from the property and you may also have to pay for all court costs.

You may also be held liable for rent arrears and any other damages that your landlord suffered due to your non-payment of rent.

Renting Out Your Home? In Need of Renting Advices? Visit the HandyWork Blog to find out a wide range of handy renting guides best suited for you!


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