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Can victims of domestic violence be evicted?

The Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan and the ACLU have requested that the Inkster Housing Commission cease its efforts to evict a pregnant woman from one of the apartments they manage. This landlord-tenant disagreement centers on the fact that the woman is being evicted due to domestic abuse.

The tenant has gotten two orders of protection against the father of her 4-year-old child, but he continued to come to the apartment and attack her. The ACLU contends that she is being evicted because her child's father is disturbing the peace and has caused damage to the property when he beats the tenant. The ACLU's legal director says the eviction violates the Violence Against Women Act along with state and other federal laws.

The ACLU also feels that the practice of evicting victims of domestic violence is all too common in Michigan and acts to re-victimize women for events that are beyond their control. The organization also contends that the practice is illegal and reinforces the notion that women who are involved in domestic violence cases must be allowing it to happen.

Eviction laws vary from state to state, and a landlord who is experiencing issues with a tenant may benefit from allowing an attorney to review the case. When property damage and disturbances are caused by acts of domestic abuse, an attorney may be able to ascertain whether or not the federal Violence Against Women Act applies to the situation. It may also be possible to help the tenant remain in her home by settling the issue in an amicable manner that avoids the court system.

Source: Michigan Radio, "ACLU seeks to prevent eviction of domestic violence victim", December 05, 2013

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