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Eviction|Landlord/Tenant - Students' Attorney Program - ASUW

Landlord's Right of Re-Entry

Except where there is a provision in the lease stating otherwise, nonpayment of rent does not give the landlord the right to re-enter and retake possession of the apartment and evict you without any kind of prior notice. If you are behind on your rent, the landlord must make a demand for its payment and give you sufficient notice to vacate the apartment before he can re-enter and take possession. After the landlord has given sufficient notice, he can re-enter the apartment as long as he does so peaceably. However, if the landlord uses violent force in re-entry, he can be liable to the tenant for damages.

Wyoming's Eviction (Forcible Entry and Detainer) Statute

If a tenant is three (3) days late in his payment of rent, then on the fourth day the landlord can give the tenant written notice to vacate the apartment and three days after such written notice has been given to the tenant, the landlord can go to Circuit Court and have the tenant evicted, provided the landlord proves his case for eviction. This statute does not mean that the lease is automatically terminated when the tenant is three days late with the rent, but only gives the landlord the right to go to court after the tenant is seven days late in the payment of rent. If the tenant pays the late rent before the landlord has started the legal proceedings, this prevents the landlord from evicting the tenant. If the tenant is ordered by a court to vacate and does not, the sheriff may remove the tenant's possessions and prevent the tenant from re-entering the premises without further action by the court.

Besides nonpayment of rent, a landlord may also evict a tenant for whatever reasons may be specified in the lease signed by the tenant. If no specific reasons are listed, then besides nonpayment of rent, a landlord may evict a tenant for failure to maintain the rental unit in a clean and safe condition, for failure to dispose of garbage and waste, for failure to maintain the plumbing fixtures in a sanitary manner, for using the electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating or other facilities and appliances in an unreasonable manner, for increasing the number of tenants specified in a lease agreement without the written permission of the landlord, for using the rental unit in a manner for which it was not designed, for intentionally or negligently destroying, defacing, damaging, impairing or removing any part of the rental unit, for interfering with another person's peaceful enjoyment of the rental property, or for unreasonably denying access to, refusing entry to or withholding consent to enter the rental unit to the landlord, his agent or a rental property manager for the purpose of making repairs to or inspecting the unit, or showing it for rent or sale.

Retaliatory Eviction

As a tenant you cannot be evicted in the middle of your tenancy for any actions that do not relate to the lease such as joining a renters' association, signing a petition or the like.

Constructive Eviction

Any willful act done by the landlord or by people who represent her that substantially damages, interferes with or makes the tenant's living condition impossible will be considered constructive eviction by the landlord and will relieve the tenant of his duty to pay rent if he vacates the apartment. If the landlord violates her duty to protect the tenant's right of quiet enjoyment, then this will be grounds for a constructive eviction. If you believe you are justified in vacating your rental unit because of some act or acts by done by the landlord, it is highly recommended that you consult with the Students' Attorney before you move out.

Liens on the Personal Property of a Tenant

A lien is when one person keeps or has an interest in the property of another as security for the payment of a debt. At common law, a landlord does not have a lien on the personal property of his tenant merely by reason of a landlord-tenant relationship. This means that the landlord cannot keep
your television if you fail to pay the rent. However, the landlord can obtain a lien on your property in the apartment if there is a provision in the lease to this effect, and you agree to it by signing the lease.

Also, by statute (W.S. 1-21-1210), following termination of a lease, a landlord may dispose of any trash or property you leave behind when you move out and the landlord reasonably believes that these items are hazardous, perishable or valueless and abandoned. He also may dispose of any valuable property you leave behind, but only after he gives you timely notice of his intention to dispose of it and you fail to respond to his notice within the statutory timeframe. If you do get a notice from the landlord and you do respond, the landlord is entitled to storage costs and the costs of removal of your property to the place of storage before you can retake possession of your property.

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