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Can Independent Living Kick You Out?

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Finding a suitable care home that meets your loved one’s unique needs can be overwhelming. After a loved one has settled into their space, a significant concern posed by families is the potential for a resident’s eviction from an independent living community.

Although rare, senior living communities can evict residents from their living arrangements. An eviction doesn’t spontaneously occur. Most communities follow a structured process to give their residents a prior warning before following with a final notice of eviction.  

What Is Independent Living?

Independent living is a long-term community that is most suitable for older adults who require little to no assistance with activities of daily living. These communities are most suitable for older adults who don’t require intensive medical care.

The goal of independent living is to help promote independence while offering support with activities like:

  • Three daily meals
  • Weekly laundry and housekeeping
  • Activities and entertainment
  • 24-hour, on-site staff
  • Scheduled transportation

It’s a community-based environment that promotes residents’ physical and mental well-being. 

Who Qualifies for Independent Living?

Older adults who are most suitable for independent living are individuals who: 

  • Require help with daily activities but can still maintain a level of independence. 
  • Don’t require constant medical supervision.
  • Prefer a community setting where they have social interaction opportunities with other residents or staff. 
  • Prefer a balanced environment that promotes independence under professional care.

Families and caregivers can rest easy knowing their loved ones are well-cared for. Independent living provides professional, round-the-clock care, a safe and socially engaging environment, and can help maintain and improve the quality of life for their loved ones.

Can Independent Living Kick Out a Resident?

In short, yes, these communities can ask residents to leave under specific circumstances. Evictions are rare and often a last resort for most communities.

These policies vary by state and living community. Generally, residents are entitled to some form of notice or warning before their eviction unless there are special extreme circumstances. 

Authority to Evict

Independent living communities have rules and regulations outlined in the resident agreement signed upon moving in. During the move-in process, it’s beneficial for all parties to discuss the eviction policy with the senior living community.

These agreements typically include clauses that specify conditions under which a resident may be asked to leave. 

Common Grounds for Eviction

It’s uncommon, but there are circumstances where a resident in an independent living community might face eviction. Understanding these circumstances can help families and caregivers take preventative measures for their loved ones.

These circumstances can include: 

  • Health and safety concerns: If a resident’s health deteriorates to the point where they require more care than the community can provide, they may be advised to move to a more suitable living environment that can address their specific medical needs. 
  • Behavioral issues: Residents displaying aggressive or disruptive behaviors that threaten their safety or the well-being of other residents may be subject to eviction. This includes physical violence, cognitive decline leading to unsafe behaviors, or consistent non-compliance with community rules and regulations. 
  • Non-payment of fees: Failure to pay the agreed-upon fees outlined in the contract can result in eviction. Most communities offer a grace period and attempt to resolve payment concerns. However, persistent non-payment may lead to termination of residency. 
  • Lease violations: The violation of terms outlined in the resident agreement, such as subletting the apartment, engaging in illegal activities, or consistent non-compliance with community guidelines, can also lead to eviction.

 A piece of paper displaying legal notice with a gavel.

Warnings & Eviction Process

In most cases, evictions don’t occur out of the blue. Residents are given prior warning. Most communities follow a structured process: 

  • Initial warning: The resident and their family receive a written notice detailing the violation and the required corrective actions. 
  • Probationary period: The resident is given a specific timeframe to address the issues outlined in the warning. 
  • Final notice: If the resident fails to comply by correcting the violation during the probationary period, a final notice of eviction is issued stating a clear move-out date.

Fighting a Wrongful Eviction

If a resident or their family believes they have been wrongfully evicted, residents are well within their right to challenge this decision.

  • Review the agreement: Start by reviewing the resident agreement to understand the terms and conditions of the lease, initial warning notice, and final notice. Identify any discrepancies between reasons for eviction and the outlined rules. 
  • Gather the documentation: Collect all written communication, notices, and documents related to the eviction. This evidence will be crucial when presenting a case. 
  • Seek mediation: Many states offer mediation services to resolve disputes between residents and independent living communities. Mediation provides a platform for both parties to discuss the issue and reach a mutually agreeable solution.
  • Legal action: If mediation is unsuccessful, consider seeking legal advice. An attorney specializing in elder law can provide guidance on the best course of action, including filing a lawsuit for wrongful eviction if necessary.
  • Contact state agencies: State regulatory agencies overseeing independent living communities can also be contacted to file a complaint. They can investigate the matter and make sure the community complies with state laws and regulations.

Connect with Our Team

While eviction is rare, residents and families need to understand the potential circumstances for eviction in their independent living community. Being aware of the policies and regulations surrounding residents’ living arrangements can help.Our team at Saranac Village at Will Rogers can help families understand the complexities surrounding senior living communities. Contact us today!

Written by Kaplan

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