Eviction Laws in Assisted Living Facilities

Just in case you aren’t familiar, here’s a quick review of assisted living facilities: An assisted living facility is a place for older people to go that gives housing, meals, and other services, like help with the activities of daily living (things like eating, bathing, and dressing).

For this article, we are going to be addressing the question: Can the facility evict a resident?

The answer is: yes, it can. However, it can only do so in five specific types of circumstances, which we’ll review now:

  1. You did not pay for the basic services within a period of 10 days of the due date.
  2. You did not comply with either state or local law after receiving a written notice telling you of an alleged violation.
  3. You broke a rule of the facility that is clearly listed in the admission agreement.
  4. A formal reassessment was done and found that your needs have changed, and that those new needs cannot be accurately and adequately met by the facility.
  5. The facility will no longer be licensed to care for residents like yourself. 

Knowing these five circumstances may bring up some follow-up questions, so we’ll take a look at a few of the more common questions below:

“What kind of notice should I get?”

Generally, if a facility wants to evict a resident, they must give 30 days’ written notice of the eviction. The notice must also state 1 of the 5 reasons that we listed above, and include facts supporting that reason.

“Can a facility give less than 30 days’ notice?”

Yes, they can. A facility is allowed to give only 3 days’ notice of eviction, but only when the resident’s continued stay at the facility is endangering to the health or safety of the resident themself, or the other residents living there. Also, the Department of Social Services must give their approval (in written form) for a 3-day notice.

“Can a facility refuse to readmit a patient after a hospital stay?”

No, unless the patient was evicted through the court process. Legally, a facility cannot just up and lock someone out; they have to go through the court process to do so. If a facility thinks that someone coming back from the hospital should be evicted, the facility has to readmit them first, before they start with eviction proceedings.

So what should you do if you disagree with the eviction notice? If you receive an eviction notice and do not get out of the facility by the date listed, the facility can then file an eviction case against you in court and force you out. If this happens, you’ll be served court papers (a “summons of complaint”) and only have 5 days to respond with the court. In your response you should list your defense, like the reason as to why you think the eviction doesn’t fit one of the five reasons we listed above. Remember, that the facility cannot just kick you out; they have to go through the entire legal process first. If you or someone you love may be facing a similar situation it is advisable to consult with an elder law attorney as soon as possible.