Can you evict a tenant after they’ve filed a complaint?
July 1, 2011
Your tenant has filed a government complaint. Now what?
If a tenant has complained to a governmental agency about a code or regulation violation on your property, you can’t evict them for several months. In most states it is six months, but check your state’s Landlord/Tenant Law to find out.
The same goes for a tenant who simply asserts his or her rights to you or a government agency. If you try to evict or raise the rent unreasonably in the next six months, the courts will probably decide the eviction or rent increase was retaliation for the complaints.
You can still evict, though, for four reasons
• if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent,
• if the tenant doesn’t follow the terms of the rental agreement,
• if the tenant made the complaint in bad faith, or
• if you will have to have a vacant unit in order to do the necessary repairs