DEFINITION of 'Retaliatory Eviction '
When a landlord takes revenge against a tenant's actions by evicting, attempting to evict, or failing to renew that tenant's lease. A retaliatory eviction is generally preceded by a complaint made by the tenant regarding the condition of the property, or the tenant's assertion of a legal right.
BREAKING DOWN 'Retaliatory Eviction '
A landlord may try to subdue a complaining tenant by evicting them rather than by making repairs in response to a complaint. For example, a tenant may complain about the air conditioning unit, but rather than repairing or replacing the unit, the landlord may decide to evict the tenant and hope the next tenant does not complain. Many states have landlord-tenant laws that specifically prohibit this type of eviction.