Landlord-tenant disputes can be particularly stressful and intense because they concern housing. Being evicted means that you are left in an extremely vulnerable position whereby you may not have anywhere to live, and it could put you at a financial disadvantage since you were unlikely to have been able to gain back your deposit.
If your landlord went through a self-help eviction, it means that they retook possession of the property without going through the necessary process required. This is a red flag that suggests that the landlord may not have had enough of a reason to lawfully evict you, and their actions may have amounted to landlord harassment. The following is an overview of signs you have been subjected to an illegal eviction, and the things you can do to effectively assert your rights.
Signs that your landlord evicted you illegally
Your landlord needs to follow the proper legal process in order to legally evict you. They cannot simply decide to change the locks after you violate one term in the lease or rental agreement. If your landlord has threatened or harassed you, ordered you to leave, changed the locks, removed your property from the rental unity or requested that utility companies cut off service, you may be able to sue them for illegal eviction.
What damages may I be entitled to if I sue my landlord?
It's likely that being illegally evicted has had an enormously detrimental impact on your life. You may be able to gain damages for the temporary housing that you had to pay for, the food that spoiled as a result of your electricity being shut off and the property that you lost as a result of being locked out by your landlord.
If you believe that you have been illegally evicted by your landlord, it is important that you take swift action to assert your legal rights and to gain the damages that you deserve.