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Do I Have to Move?

My landlord told me I have to move out this week and that he will call the police if I am not out.  Do I have to move?

Only a civil officer (usually a sheriff or a marshal) can put a tenant out.  Your landlord can tell you that you have to move, but your landlord cannot legally force you out without going to court first.

My landlord is threatening to change the locks on my apartment and lock me out if I don’t move.  Is this legal?

Your landlord can only lock you out of your apartment after taking you to court.  A judge has to order your eviction before a landlord can lock you out.

My landlord has been threatening to lock me out of my apartment.  When I came home from shopping, the locks on my door were changed and I could not get into my apartment.  What should I do?

You should call the police.  Tell the police that your landlord has locked you out of your apartment without taking you to court.  Ask the police to help you get back in.  Evicting a tenant or forcing a tenant to move without taking the tenant to court first is now a crime.

You can also call Neighborhood Legal Services for more help.

I owe rent and my landlord legal wants to evict me.  What is the legal way for the landlord to do this?

If you owe back rent, your landlord must give you a written 5-day notice that your rent is late, and then a 14-day demand for back rent.  Then, the landlord must serve you with court papers telling you that you have to appear in court for a nonpayment eviction case.  If you have applied for rental assistance and/or if you were impacted by COVID, there is a good chance your landlord will not be able to evict you.  Also, if your landlord is taking you to court because you owe rent, and you pay the back rent before your court date in a nonpayment eviction case, the eviction process stops.

What happens if I lose in eviction court?

If a judge orders your eviction, you should not be put out for at least 14 days.


If you receive court papers, you can contact Neighborhood Legal Services for help.