After receiving an eviction notice, some people wonder if it is worth fighting in court. The answer depends on several things, including the dollar amount involved, the reason for the eviction, the date you would have to leave, and whether the eviction was illegal. If you find yourself in this situation and want to do everything possible to stay where you live, you need to speak with an attorney who specializes in this area of the law.

In some situations, fighting a landlord in court over an eviction is worth it. Landlords must abide by strict laws, so if yours failed to do something required in your state, you could get the eviction dismissed. Remember, the only way that your landlord can evict you is that if he or she goes through the court system. In other words, your landlord cannot just post a note on your door telling you to leave by a specific date.

In court, your landlord must prove that you violated your lease agreement in some way. If the reason for the eviction is nonpayment, but you insist you paid the amount owed on time every month, then you need to bring every receipt or bank statement that can back up your claim. At the same time, the landlord has the burden to prove that you did not pay.

If you received an eviction notice because your landlord filed court documents stating that you broke the lease agreement by having a pet, again, he or she would have to present proof that you had an animal. On your side, you would need to prove there was no pet. For that, you could take photos showing no damage and, most importantly, have witnesses testify on your behalf.

Getting evicted is scary. Because most proceedings occur in a regular court, as opposed to small claims, you have to present a strong case to win. That court will hold you to the same standard as it would a lawyer. That means that you must submit “evidence” in a way accepted by the court. If you do not feel confident doing that, you should hire an attorney to stand up for you.

Especially if you, and perhaps a family, have no place to go, nor can you afford the cost to move, change utilities, and put down another security deposit on a different home, you should fight the eviction. Depending on the facts involved, your landlord may agree to give you more time to move or accept special terms that would allow you to stay. For instance, if the reason for the eviction was nonpayment, your attorney may convince your landlord to agree to a payment schedule that would allow you to get caught up.

With an attorney on your side, there is a chance of getting the eviction overturned. Because there are so many factors involved, the minute you receive an eviction notice that you want to fight, get in touch with a reputable attorney. The two of you can discuss the case, determine if it is winnable, and come up with a viable plan that achieves the outcome that you want.