We sincerely hope you don’t use this list to pursue an everything-but-the-eviction agenda against your landlord. That would be very ill advised. But it’s good to know what kinds of actions are likely to land you on the street. And remember! This is just the short list…
Basically, you can get evicted if you—or someone you let into the building—break the rules. The most obvious rules are the ones in your lease, but there may be other things that your landlord didn’t feel the need to put in writing (say, kicking his dog. Or something) that are still out-of-bounds. Damaging the property is one way to really peeve a landlord. Be wise about your guests. Don’t break any agreements you signed to in your lease.
Failing to pay rent—this reason should not come as a surprise. Pay your rent, and pay it on time.
If you use your apartment for illegal purposes—which we don’t even want to speculate about, thank you very much—you’re pretty much asking to get evicted. And maybe arrested.
Your pet could be grounds for eviction, if it’s causing excessive noise or damaging the apartment. Or if you weren’t allowed to have one in the first place. The same goes for roommates, actually: noise or damage can be a big problem. Ditto for overcrowding. Or, again, if you lease limits the number of tenants, and you bring in too many; check your lease for rules about subtenants.
If your landlord wants the place for himself, he’s technically allowed to evict you, but only at the end of your lease. Usually. Check your local laws about this one.
A landlord should have proof of your transgression, and should serve you with a notice of termination. The exact rules about this, including how soon the notice must follow a transgression, vary from state to state. You can also contest the issue in court, if you choose.
In short, be a good tenant! And for more information, check out local housing rights organizations.