ABA Guidelines on Eviction Law

The American Bar Association has put out 10 Guidelines for Eviction Law, to guide local leaders in how to establish legal protections, due process, and diversion programs.

In February 2022, the American Bar Association passed a resolution laying out the ABA 10 Guidelines for Residential Eviction Laws. These 10 points set up standards for due process, and ways to ensure that tenants facing eviction have the full protection of the law.

ABA 10 Guidelines for Residential Eviction Laws

  1. Tenants should receive reasonable notice of any breach of their lease and the chance to correct the problem before they face eviction.
  2. Courts should provide emergency procedures to tenants who have been locked out or unlawfully excluded from their homes.
  3. Tenants should not be evicted without the opportunity to present their defense in a hearing before a judicial officer with appropriate legal training.
  4. Tenants facing eviction should receive ample opportunity to prepare for their hearing, including through formal discovery.
  5. Courts should require landlords and tenants to participate in eviction diversion programs before litigation.
  6. Tenants facing eviction should have access to qualified counsel in all proceedings.
  7. Tenants facing eviction for nonpayment of rent should be able to maintain their housing by paying the full amount owed to their landlord before a final judgment.
  8. Tenants should be able to appeal an eviction judgment without facing undue bond requirements.
  9. Tenants should not be evicted, or not receive the chance to renew their lease, absent a good cause.
  10. Courts should seal the names of defendants before a final judgment in eviction cases as well as when eviction cases are dismissed and have additional procedures for protecting the privacy of defendants who can demonstrate good cause.

You can see the full resolution, including a report with more details and supporting references at the ABA’s site (pdf at link).

Local eviction-focused coalitions can use this ABA 10 Point list to explore reforms with courts, lawyers groups, and other associations and nonprofits in the community. These points lay out the key steps to understand how your local legal system is performing when it comes to eviction prevention, and what you should be asking leaders to work on.

Read more about the ABA Resolution at the ABA Journal.

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