Eviction Defenses and Counterclaims
Defenses/Counterclaims to Eviction
After a tenant receives notice from the landlord that the landlord wishes to evict, a tenant may bring legal defenses explaining why the tenant should not be evicted. If valid, these defenses may be used to prevent or delay eviction. Some potential legal defenses to eviction may include:
1) Landlord improperly terminated tenancy;
2) Landlord improperly brought court action;
3) Landlord knew of bad housing conditions that were not caused by tenant (i.e. conditions that violate sanitary codes);
4) Tenant withheld rent due to un-repaired/unresolved sanitary conditions;
5) Landlord has retaliated against tenant after tenant engaged in activities protected by the law;
6) Landlord discriminated against tenant;
7) Landlord claims tenant violated a provision of the written lease;
8) Landlord sells the premises during eviction process;
9) Landlord has violated the law.
Counterclaim(s) may be brought by the tenant against the landlord, in addition to or in lieu of, valid defenses to prevent eviction. Basically, counterclaims are claims for money where a tenant may be entitled to receive money from the landlord and/or reduce the amount of unpaid rent owed to the landlord. These counterclaims may be taken into account by the judge when determining whether the tenant owes the landlord money, and how much the tenant may owe.
If you are looking for professional representation during an eviction, or you would like a more detailed explanation of the eviction process, please feel free to contact Mikowski & Leonard, LLC for a completely free consultation. Our attorneys have experience representing landlords and tenants in both Housing Court and District Court.