Nobody who rents an apartment wants to get an eviction notice. That's just the kind of thing that can ruin your year, really. There's the embarrassment, the involvement of law enforcement, and of course, having to move out and find a new place. How did you get into this situation? It's more than just about not paying your rent, but not all the reasons for getting evicted are apparent. Sometimes it's more than money, and it's more about failing to comply with specific rules and regulations in your lease agreement. Here's a list of six things that can get you evicted, so be sure to avoid these behaviors for a lasting and positive relationship with your landlord, as well as with your neighbors.


Violating Your Lease Agreement

This sounds pretty broad, but there are some specific violations that we can point to, as can your landlord. For example, if you have a dog and your lease stipulates that dogs are not allowed under any circumstances, that's a violation. Long-term guests that aren't on the actual lease (other than minors who are children) and don't pay rent are not tenants, and that's a violation. If you're running an unapproved business out of your apartment or renting it out to someone else when the lease says you can't sublet. Another violation. Excessive and repeated noise violations, trash in the hallway, multiple unapproved cars in the parking lot. Take a look at your lease language, understand what those violations are, and strive not to break those rules.


Damaging Property

Not everyone is a conscientious tenant, and that sometimes results in property damage. No matter how bad your day, week, or month has been, there's no excuse for taking it out on your apartment unit or building. It costs money to maintain/repair properties, and a good landlord or property owner goes the distance to make sure living conditions are good for tenants. If you do things like damage walls, windows, appliances, etc., or you hoard to the point where it does damage to the property, you may be legally evicted. Even if the damage is unintentional, a landlord may bring you to court in order to get you evicted, so be aware of conditions and report anything that's an accident before it becomes a problem.


Breaking the Law

Most tenants are law-abiding citizens, but there are people who conduct illegal behavior out of their rental units, and that's a big no-no. Whether it's a legitimate business that's illegally run out of your apartment (zoned for residential, not commercial), you can be evicted. If you have people coming in and out of your apartment who are customers of your legal products (let's say you sell things on Etsy), but you're not approved to do so, you can be evicted. Of course, if you're selling drugs, alcohol, or other illegal substances out of your place, your landlord can even evict you in as little as 24 hours. The police will get involved, and you can be arrested and have your possessions confiscated.


Your Lease Expires

If your lease expires, and you haven't been able to get your landlord to renew it for some reason, you can be evicted. If you refuse to move out and you overstay your welcome, the landlord has every legal right to have you evicted since you no longer have any legal right to remain on the property. They have what's called "just cause" to have you removed by the courts, and law enforcement can have you removed. If you have to know, "squatters rights" don't apply to you in this situation because you were a former tenant, not someone who is occupying the premises in place of a tenant. This is not a situation you want to find yourself in because the courts will likely move swiftly and in your landlord's favor.


Failure to Pay Rent

This one is a no-brainer, as we mentioned in the introduction. It's probably the most frequent cause of evictions in the United States. We get it. You get behind on your rent due to financial circumstances: loss of job, emergency medical problem, major unforeseen expense, etc. But if you have a good relationship and otherwise good history with your landlord, discuss it before it becomes a prolonged problem that you can't get ahead of. Ask him or her for options: a payment plan, a date when you'll get back on your feet, or even collateral. Of course, if you just neglect to pay your rent, you can be assured that you will be evicted. No one can continue to live in a rental without paying what was agreed to in the lease. Especially, now that COVID-19's moratorium on rental payments and evictions is over, landlords will likely not give you a break unless you have truly extenuating circumstances.