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Can a mother with 5 kids be evicted this time of the year?

JA: What steps has the...
Can a mother with 5 kids be evicted this time of the year?
JA: What steps has the mother taken? Has she filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No
JA: Family law varies by state. What state is she in?
Customer: Indiana
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The furnace stopped working last summer so she has no heat which is why she is not paying the rent.
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
11/14/2017
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6,531
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Can I clarify your question? Are you asking whether there are any laws that prohibit you from evicting someone who has five kids because it is cold outside? A little background could go a long way.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
she stopped paying her rent because the furnace quit working last summer and the owner refuses to do anything about it.

So, helping me understand your relationship to this person...are you staying in the place with them? Is this a family member? Also, has the landlord initiated eviction proceedings?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
the owner was told that when she has heat, he will get the rent but he is threatening eviction. I am the great grandmother and do not live with them.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
He has only threatened eviction but she is only 2 weeks behind.

I see what you mean. This appears to be a violation of the implied warranty (promise) of habitability. All residential leases and rental agreements contain an implied warranty of habitability because they turned off the heat. Under the "implied warranty of habitability," the landlord is legally responsible for repairing conditions that seriously affect the rental unit's habitability. That is, the landlord must repair substantial defects in the rental unit and substantial failures to comply with state and local building and health codes. However, the landlord is generally not responsible under the implied warranty of habitability for repairing damages that were caused by the tenant or the tenant's family, guests, or pets. The usual measure of damages is either 1) a cancellation of the lease agreement; 2) a withholding of the rent until the item is repaired; or 3) you repair the matter yourself and request reimbursement. In this case, because the heat has been shut off, she has the right to withhold the rent, and if she is evicted, then she could sue the landlord for an unlawful eviction, and she could recover damages as a result.

You may want to consider just writing a formal demand letter advising the landlord that the law prohibits the actions they are taking. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for a demand letter (click here). It only costs $10 and it is way cheaper than litigation.

What other questions did you have for me?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
none at this time. Thank you.

The pleasure is all mine! Further up on the screen you should see a chance to give me a rating. 5-stars are always appreciated, but it is definitely not required! You can also click here in the future to request me individually. Don’t forget, if you haven’t already, you can always sign up for a membership with Just Answer and start asking more questions on the cheap.

Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6,531
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified
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Legal Eagle
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Category: Legal
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6,531 Satisfied Customers
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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