What if I did not receive an eviction notice and my landlord put all of my stuff outside by the street without telling me?

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What if I did not receive an eviction notice and my landlord put all of my stuff outside by the street without telling me?

Asked on June 14, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord committed an illegal eviction: in your state, the landlord may NOT simply throw your belongings to the curb or change the locks on you. Rather, the landlord must first give you an eviction notice; then, if you don't leave, must file an eviction complaint in court. Only after getting a court judgment (and you will get notice of the trial or hearing and a chance to present a defense) can you be evicted. When a landlord commits an illegal eviction, they potentially become liable to you for damages or compensation, which I believe can be up to twice your monthly rent. You can also get a court order putting you back in your unit. Ideally, hire a landlord-tenant attorney to help you; if you cannot find or afford one, contact the court clerk for your landlord-tenant court (or the general county cour clerk, if there is not a separate landlord-tenant division), briefly describe what happened, and ask for instructions as to what you can file, where.


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