Can You Get Evicted for Losing Your Job or Being in Debt?

Losing a job or being in debt are bad enough to start.

But add in being evicted from your apartment because your landlord is worried that you won't pay the rent - and you're in a tough situation that's best to confront early.

If your landlord finds out about your financial problems and you don't have a lease, your tenancy can be terminated with proper notice - usually 30 days in most states.

If you have a lease, then you're OK until it runs out.

But for anyone with a month-to-month lease, the agreement can be terminated for any reason that isn't discriminatory, according to a story. You can't be evicted for race, religion, sex, ethnicity and such reasons, nor can you be put out for retaliatory reasons - such as complaining about unfit living conditions to a building inspector.

While I can understand why a landlord would be concerned if a tenant is too heavily in debt or without a job, I think a landlord would be willing to work with a tenant who's upfront about it and assures a landlord that the problem is being taken care of.

If you've always paid the rent and continue to pay it, and are a good tenant, then most reasonable landlords would give you a chance and also make their lives easier by not kicking you out. You're a known factor, although one without a job for now, and a new tenant may not be as good of a tenant as you.

That's why it's a good idea to approach your landlord with such problems and assure him or her that you're on top of it and detail your plans for finding a job or getting out of debt.

Aaron Crowe has lived in at least five rental units in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reach him at

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