You can avoid being evicted by coming to an agreement with your landlord. Your landlord does not have to agree to a settlement, but you may be able to convince them to work out a settlement with you.
Most settlement agreements are included in a court order. The judge will almost always enter an order if the parties agree to it. There are 2 basic options for a settlement agreement: staying or leaving.
If your landlord agrees to let you stay, they may ask you agree to the following terms:
- Repayment plan, if rent is owed. You would have to pay back whatever is owed over a period of months, plus your usual rent payment.
- Probationary period. This means the landlord could reinstate, or bring back, the eviction case during the probation period if there is a new lease violation. Reinstating the case allows the landlord to continue the eviction action without filing a new case.
- A waiver of your right to a trial or jury
- A waiver of any claims or defenses you may have
If you decide you want to leave, you can ask the landlord to give you more time in the apartment. Many landlords will agree to allow the tenant a month to move out. If you agree upon a date to move out, the court will enter an order saying you need to move out by that date and setting a compliance date.
The compliance date is a court date where you and the landlord can tell the court whether you got out of the apartment by the deadline. If you are not out by the deadline, the Court will likely enter an Order of Possession against you. Courts rarely give tenants more time than they agreed to in these settlements. If you agree to be out by a certain date, you should do your best to move out by that date.
Things to think about for a settlement:
- If you follow the settlement, the eviction will likely be dismissed. If you don't follow it, it will be much easier for the landlord to get an Order of Possession against you.
- Make sure any agreement you come to is in writing and signed by your and the landlord. Also, carefully read through the settlement agreement. If you don't understand something, let the judge know that before the order is entered.
- You should ask your landlord to seal the eviction file as part of the settlement. The fact that an eviction was filed against you is a matter of public record and can get in the way of you finding an apartment in the future.