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What to do if you’re facing eviction

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If you’re behind on rent and received a demand for payment, an eviction notice, or an eviction lawsuit, you’re in the right place.

We can help you understand your rights and how to take advantage of federal and state help.

Select your situation to see what you can do

If you want to stay in your home, make a plan to catch up on your rent.

Get help with rent and utilities

You can apply to state or local organizations for federal money to cover rent, utilities, and other housing costs.  Learn more about emergency rental assistance.

Talk with your landlord about making a repayment plan

Find out if your landlord is willing to work with you or if they plan to file an eviction lawsuit. Sometimes, the hardest part is just getting the conversation started.

Find out about state or local protections

Some states and local areas have rules that could delay your eviction while you get help. See temporary state eviction protections below.

Too many renters give up before they have a chance to go to court. You don’t have to be one of them. Help is still available.

Talk with a lawyer, don’t delay

You may qualify for free legal help . If you’re a servicemember, talk with your local Legal Assistance Office.

Get help with rent and utilities

You can apply to state or local organizations for federal money to cover rent, utilities, and other housing costs. Learn about emergency rental assistance in your area.

Learn more from the court

You can call the court clerk and ask these questions about your case:

  • I understand that I have the right to file a written answer explaining to the court why I should not be evicted. How long do I have to file an answer from the date I received the summons?
  • Is there a court date yet?
  • Does the court offer mediation or provide referrals to housing counselors?

File an answer

You have the right to file a written answer explaining to the court why you should not be evicted. If you don’t have a lawyer yet, you can file an answer on your own.

  • Explain your situation and what you are doing to try and find help.
  • Describe what your landlord has or hasn’t done to get the federal rental assistance funds.
  • If you applied for rental assistance and are waiting for a decision from a local organization, include that in your answer, too.

The judge may delay or dismiss the eviction because you are trying to get help.

Visit LawHelp.org to learn how to file an answer to the eviction lawsuit in your state

Apply for help to cover the cost of moving, a security deposit, and application fees

Emergency rental assistance isn’t just for back rent. Find out if your local rental assistance program is offering help to people seeking a new home.  Find your local rental assistance program.

Ask for more time to get rent help

Ask the judge or the court clerk if the eviction order can be placed on hold while your application for emergency rental assistance is being processed.

Find out about state or local protections

Some state and local areas have rules that could delay your eviction while you get help. See temporary state protections from eviction below.

Legal help

If your landlord is threatening to evict you, or you need help understanding your rights, talk to a lawyer. You may qualify for free legal aid, based on your income.

States providing temporary eviction protections

The list below shows states with eviction protections in place, and the date the protections are scheduled to end. In some states, you may be protected from eviction while your application for federal emergency rental assistance is being processed. In other states, you may be able to pause your eviction by filing an affidavit with the state or entering into a repayment plan with your landlord.

Local housing counselors, legal aid, and social services organizations can help you understand how state eviction protections work.

Several states require you to apply for federal rental assistance to qualify for their protections. You can use the nationwide Rental Assistance Finder to find a local program and start your application for rental assistance.

States with eviction protections and expiration dates

More eviction help

Take advantage of free housing help

Housing counselors can help you find resources in your area and make a plan.

If you’d like help from a local expert, contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s housing counseling program.

Call 800-569-4287 or find a housing counselor

Know your rights

You may have additional rights such as:

  • Debt collection rights
  • Right to report a bad landlord
  • Right to report housing discrimination
  • Right to stay in your home as a survivor of domestic violence

Know your tenant and debt collection rights