1. Make a written request for an informal hearing
The eviction notice should say whether or not the tenant has a right to a grievance hearing. If so, the tenant must make a written request for the hearing to the building manager. Usually, the request can be delivered in person or mailed. It is important to make sure the request arrives on time to the building manager or housing authority. If the tenant mails the letter, it must arrive on time to give the tenant the right to a hearing. They should keep a copy of the request for a hearing and make sure the building manager or housing authority gets it on time.
2. Go to the informal grievance hearing
The first step is the informal grievance hearing. At this hearing, the tenant can bring evidence showing that they have not violated the lease. This can include documents, witnesses, or notarized letters from witnesses who will support them. You can have a representative or attorney with you at the hearing. Sometimes, you can work out an agreement at the informal hearing to fix the issue that lead to the eviction notice. For example, if you are behind on rent, you can ask for a repayment agreement at the informal hearing.
Within a reasonable time after the informal hearing, the building manager must give the tenant a written summary of what was talked about at the grievance hearing, and their decision. The document should also say how long the tenant has to request a formal grievance hearing.
3. If necessary, make a written request for a formal hearing
If the tenant loses the informal hearing, they may make a written request for a formal grievance hearing. At the formal hearing, the tenant can challenge the eviction in front of a hearing officer or hearing panel.
If the tenant requests a formal hearing before the deadline, the landlord cannot file a lawsuit to evict the tenant until the grievance process is completed. If the tenant does not request a formal hearing before the deadline, the decision is final. However, the landlord will still need to file a lawsuit in court to get an order from a judge to evict the tenant. The landlord cannot have the tenant removed from the unit until they have won the court case. The landlord must have a court order to physically remove you and your stuff from your home.