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Understanding the rent and possession lawsuit


If your rent is overdue, your landlord can file a rent and possession lawsuit without prior notice.


Last updated 06/22/2023

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Understanding the rent and possession lawsuit

If your rent is past due, your landlord can file a lawsuit against you for rent and possession. Your landlord does not have to give you any warning or notice prior to filing a rent and possession lawsuit.

When you receive the Summons, a complaint or petition will be attached. In the complaint or petition, the landlord should state the following information:

  • The address where you reside,
  • The amount of rent you pay each month,
  • That the landlord demanded rent payment from you,
  • That you have not paid the rent, and
  • The amount your landlord claims you owe.

You should review the information very carefully. Does the information stated by the landlord match your records? Check the lease and rent receipts. Be prepared to bring your lease and rent receipts to court.

In a rent and possession suit, your landlord may also include claims against you for other alleged non-rent charges. Examples of other charges include parking fees, late fees, maintenance fees, utility charges, and attorney’s fees. If the lease does not allow these charges, you may have a defense to the non-rent charge. Also, your landlord cannot include charges for property damage in a rent and possession lawsuit.