Retaliatory Eviction Law and Legal Definition

Retaliatory eviction is the act of a landlord in ejecting or attempting to eject a tenant from the rented premises, or in refusing to renew a lease, because of the tenant's complaints or the tenant's involvement in activities with which the landlord does not agree. In most cases such n eviction is illegal. In a few states, such retaliation will bar the landlord from enforcing normal eviction remedies against the tenant.

A retaliatory eviction is a substantive defense and affirmative cause of action that can be used by a tenant against a landlord in an action for eviction. If a tenant reports sanitary violations or violations of minimum housing standards, the landlord cannot evict the tenant in retaliation. Retaliatory eviction defense extends to summary proceedings instituted at the expiration of a fixed term lease. [Van Buren Apts. v. Adams, 145 Ariz. 325, 701 P.2d 583 (Ct. App. 1984).].