Can a Landlord Cancel an Eviction?

If you are wondering whether a landlord can cancel an eviction, you are in the right place.

In this article, I am going to answer the question and also provide context around why a landlord would consider doing this, the benefits and risks associated with this, and the process for doing so.

If you have don’t have the time to read through it all, here’s a short answer to the question:

Generally, a landlord may cancel an eviction if they follow the court’s rules around that process. Because they started the eviction process, they are typically free to stop it at their discretion.

Ok, let’s get into it.

The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only.  It is not legal advice.  You should seek the advice of a qualified legal professional before making any decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.

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What is an Eviction?

An eviction or unlawful detainer action is a court proceeding that is used to remove a tenant from the landlord’s premises in a legal manner.

In order to start an eviction, a landlord must notify the tenant in writing and provide information relating to the reason for the eviction.

For nonpayment of rent, the initial notice usually comes in the form of a “pay or quit” notice, which gives a very limited amount of time for the tenant to pay the overdue rent (like 3 or 5 days).

If the eviction is on other grounds, the landlord would provide a notice to quit (based on other grounds). These usually have a longer timeframe.

If they fail to do so, then the landlord files a complaint with the court and the court issues a summons to the tenant informing them of the action.

A tenant may have an opportunity to file an answer to the complaint. In any event, a hearing is held and both sides have an opportunity to present their case.

If the landlord prevails, then there will be a judgment issued against the tenant and they will be forced to move out of the property (usually enforced through a writ of possession).

What Are the Reasons For an Eviction?

There are a number of reasons why a landlord may want to evict a tenant, but some of the most common ones include nonpayment of rent or another violation of the lease agreement (e.g., damaging the property, subletting it out, having unauthorized guests, violating a “no pets” or “no smoking” policy, not maintaining the property as agreed, etc.) .

A landlord may also evict on other grounds that are covered by state or local laws, such as in the case of domestic violence, or illegal drug or gambling activity.

In my experience, most landlord evict for failure to pay rent, so that is likely what you are dealing with here.

Why Would a Landlord Cancel an Eviction?

An eviction can cost a lot of money, especially if the landlord is using a lawyer to do it.

So there must be a compelling reason for a landlord to want to cancel an eviction.

Perhaps the best reason is because the offending activity or condition has been fixed to the landlord’s satisfaction.

If there was overdue rent and late fees, but the tenant has caught up on their payments, then there is no need for an eviction anymore because the landlord has been made whole. In fact, if the landlord were to persist in the eviction after full satisfaction of all money owed, then the eviction would likely be thrown out anyway.

Even if the underlying condition has not been satisfied, a landlord may want to cancel the eviction if they have reached an acceptable compromise with the tenant.

Often this takes the form of a partial payment or a payment plan over some period of time. Tenants will often insist on a landlord canceling the eviction if they agree to the compromise.

Yet another reason why a landlord may cancel an eviction is that the tenant moved out. The whole purpose of an eviction is to get the tenant out of the property, so the landlord can re-rent it.

If the tenant has vacated or abandoned the property, then the landlord has not reason to continue with the eviction (and spend the money associated with that).

What’s the Process For Canceling an Eviction?

Different courts will have different procedures for canceling an eviction. So depending on where you filed the eviction, you may have a simple or convoluted process ahead of you, which may include withdrawing the complaint, withdrawing the eviction notice, and so on.

You will need to check your state and local laws for specific guidance on what’s required to do this or consult with your lawyer, who should be able to handle this without much fuss.

If you prefer to have a lawyer assist you, I would try JustAnswer. They boast access to thousands of highly-rated, verified real estate lawyers whom you can connect with via their unlimited chat service.

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So there you have it – a clear answer to whether a landlord may cancel an eviction, including when they may do so and the process that they should follow.

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