This page has local legal information on residential (not commercial) renters’ issues. It is not legal advice, and you should check with your local legal aid and courts for current information.
This page was last updated on Sep 30th, 2022. It was reviewed by our volunteer attorney experts.
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Emergency Protections during COVID
Do renters have protections against eviction during the Covid-19 emergency?
Received a Warning Notice about Eviction?
Have you received a warning notice from your landlord, like a ‘Notice to Quit’ or a ‘Notice to Leave’? Find what options you have.
Facing an Eviction Lawsuit?
Has your landlord filed an eviction lawsuit in court? Have you received a Summons and Complaint? Learn what rights and options you have.
Behind on Rent?
Find local programs that can help you with housing costs, or work out a plan with your landlord.
Kansas renters' statewide protections expired on May 28, 2021. Some people -- like people affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking still have housing protections.
People are protected if, during the previous 12 months, they have been in imminent danger of becoming, a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking. Protected people might be safe from eviction. They may also be able to get out of their lease without penalties or other fees. Contact your local legal aid group to get more details on this special housing protection.
Earlier eviction protections:
The Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has ordered that renters cannot be evicted for reasons related to COVID-19 hardships. This order began on August 17, 2020 and is set to expire on May 28, 2021.
Earlier, Governor Kelly's Executive Order prevented evictions of renters who have COVID-related hardships until the end of the emergency period. It ended on May 17, 2020.
Kansas renters may also have been eligible for national protections through August 26, 2021. The CDC eviction moratorium has now expired.
Yes, Kansas renters still need to pay rent during the emergency.
You may still owe the rent that you have not paid during the emergency. You can get rental assistance to help cover the costs.
Also check with your local city or county government to see if they give renters any additional protections if they are struggling to pay rent during the emergency.
If you cannot pay rent, take steps to protect yourself:
Landlords may be able to evict you, since most emergency protections have expired in Kansas.
If you are a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking in the past 12 months, you may have special eviction and housing protections. Reach out to legal aid to find out more.
If you receive a notice to quit from your landlord, or an eviction lawsuit, reach out for legal help.
The Governor's Executive Order had prohibited Kansas companies from shutting off utilities during the state of emergency through May 28, 2021. After this period, shutoffs may resume.
If you need financial assistance for utility costs, you may be able to get help.
Landlords are never allowed to shut off a renter's utilities in an attempt to force the renter out. This is illegal. Reach out to a lawyer for help if this happens to you.
Tell your landlord about any repairs needed, particularly if they affect your health and safety.
The emergency may delay your landlord's ability to make repairs, but if they are urgent you should call your landlord to make the repairs as soon as possible.
Emergency repairs could be for problems with:
If your landlord doesn't make the repairs promptly, send them a written letter or email about the need for emergency repairs and keep a copy of this communication.
You may be able to break your lease if you can come to an agreement with your landlord.
Your lease is still valid despite the emergency period. However, you can talk to your landlord to see if they will agree to let you leave early. If they agree, be sure to get the agreement in writing.
Also, you can review your lease. It may have a part that lets you end the lease early in times of financial difficulty. If your lease has this kind of part, you might be able to break the lease, in some cases penalty-free.
Find legal help to get advice for your situation.
Contact a legal help organization to help defend yourself.
It is illegal for your landlord to evict you without first going to court and getting an eviction order. To remove you from your home, a landlord must file an eviction lawsuit against you, win the case, and get an eviction order from the court.
Legal aid groups might be able to provide you with full representation, or other legal organizations can give you information or brief advice.
Many Kansas court proceedings are still occurring. Contact your local court for more up-to-date information.
Renters in 3 categories have special national protections against being evicted during the Emergency Period of March 27, 2020 to July 24 or 25, 2020. These national protections add onto any state and local protections you have.
Do you fit in any of these 3 categories?
If you are a renter in one of these 3 categories, the federal CARES Act section 4024 gives you these protections. (Remember, these protections add onto any state and local protections you have)
You do not have to leave your home yet.
In Kansas, your landlord must give you an official notice that they may bring you to court to evict you for not paying your rent, a lease violation, or other reasons. The notice should give you time to either pay your rent, move out, or prepare defenses against eviction.
This official notice must follow some rules to be valid. If the landlord doesn't follow these rules, then you can challenge it and stop an eviction.
These are the Kansas requirements for an eviction notice:
The notice may, but is not required to, state the following:
Reach out for legal help if you think the notice isn't correct, or if you need assistance in defending yourself against the eviction.
A verbal conversation doesn't count as an "eviction notice". To be legal, the notice must be written down and given to you in the correct way.
Reach out for legal help if your landlord is trying to make you leave without going through the court process. This is illegal and a lawyer may be able to help you protect yourself.
No, you do not have to leave (or 'quit') your home by the date listed on the eviction notice.
You do not have to leave your home until you have been brought to court, and a judge has ordered that your landlord can make you leave.
After the date on the eviction notice passes, then your landlord may file an eviction lawsuit in court against you. You will be able to go to court and present defenses to protect yourself.
You still have time to reach out for rental assistance, and stop the eviction from moving forward.
Be sure to let the local group know that you have received an eviction notice and what its deadline is. They may be able to help you pay the rent you owe, or work with your landlord to reduce the amount or put you on a payment plan.
In Kansas, you generally have a minimum of 3 days (three 24-hour periods) between your landlord giving you a notice, and the landlord filing a lawsuit against you in court to evict you. The first step of this lawsuit is an “answer hearing” usually set for the following week. After you have received an eviction notice, or a summons, you should immediately contact your county court to determine whether or not a case has been filed and the time and date of the answer hearing. If you have received an eviction notice check with the court regularly to confirm whether or not a case has been filed.
If you make any payment to the landlord after receiving an eviction notice, you must get a receipt or have proof that you paid. Simply paying the landlord is not enough if a case has been filed against you. Take the proof that you paid to the court and inform them that you do not owe the money, as it has already been paid.
The notice should tell you how many days the landlord is giving you. If they are giving you less than 3 days, then you may be able to challenge it as illegal.
Reach out for legal help if you think the notice isn't giving you the required time to make your payment.
You should make sure that the landlord properly 'served' you with the lawsuit. If they didn't give it to you in the correct way, you can challenge the eviction lawsuit. In Kansas, a landlord must follow certain rules to let you know about the lawsuit:
The Summons will set out an answer date, you must appear at the answer hearing, if you are unsure as to when the answer date for your eviction is, immediately contact the court to confirm the day of the hearing. You cannot appear on behalf of anyone else. You must file an answer with the court. If you have any counterclaims you must file them with your answer, this can be done prior to the answer hearing. If you do not file an answer before your answer hearing, then you must do so within 14 days from the answer hearing date or before your trial, whichever is earlier.
You should also reach out to local lawyers who can help you prepare for your court hearing so you can protect yourself against the eviction.
You will have an eviction hearing automatically scheduled at court. You must appear there if you want to defend yourself against the eviction. But you do not have to submit anything to the court or your landlord before this hearing.
At the hearing you will be asked whether or not you owe the money, if you do not think you owe the money, or you are seeking to contest the eviction for any reason, you MUST respond with “No”.
The Summons will set out an answer date, you must appear at the answer hearing. If you are unsure as to when the answer date for your eviction is, immediately contact the court to confirm the day of the hearing. You cannot appear on behalf of anyone else. You must file an answer with the court. If you have any counterclaims you must file them with your answer, this can be done prior to the answer hearing. If you do not file an answer before your answer hearing, then you must do so within 14 days from the answer hearing date or before your trial, whichever is earlier.
Reach out to legal help to learn what your rights and defenses are in your eviction case. These organizations can help you deal with this lawsuit.
You can come to an agreement, but you should still go to court to make sure your case is closed.
You can work with your landlord to work out an agreement before the date of the court hearing. This might be a payment plan or other agreement on what needs to happen for you to stay in your home.
Be sure to get this agreement in writing, so that you can prove it exists and that your landlord follows through on it. If there is an agreement, you should take it to court with you. If your landlord fails to accept payment, take the money to court and make an offer on the record to provide the payment to the landlord.
Also, you should still go to court for your hearing date, to make sure the court knows about the agreement and closes the lawsuit. If you do not go to court, the lawsuit might still continue and the judge might rule that the landlord can remove you. Go to court yourself to make sure this doesn't happen. In many cases the court will ask if you owe the money or not, if you have an agreement, money to pay, or the landlord owes you more money for repairs than the cost of your rent, you should always answer that “No” you do not owe the money.
You can reach out for legal help to get assistance in negotiating an agreement with your landlord, and making sure this agreement is being followed.
If you are behind on rent, you can get help from your local Rental Assistance program. This is a government service to help people who owe rent or utility bills.
Especially if you are behind on rent because of COVID-19 hardships, your local Rental Assistance (or Rent Relief) program can help you.
Find your local Rental Assistance program at your Get Help page here.
Local governments set the rules about who is eligible for rent relief. Most programs focus on people who have suffered COVID-19 hardships.
You can talk to your local Rental Assistance program to learn their eligibility rules.
You may have to show your household income, or if you are on other benefits programs like SNAP.
You may also have to show that you are at risk of homelessness or eviction if you don't get rental assistance.
Many local Rental Assistance programs are open to everyone, regardless of immigration status. Many programs do not even ask about immigration status.
Check with your local Rental Assistance program to make sure about eligibility rules and immigration.
Most Rental Assistance programs let landlords apply.
Either a renter or a landlord can start the application.
The landlord will have to fill in as much information they have about the amount of money needed, and the eligibility for the program. The tenant may have to fill in the rest of the information.
Find legal groups that can help you with housing problems, landlords, roommates, Section 8, domestic violence, discrimination, and more.Find Legal Services
Find groups that can help you pay the rent, cover utility costs, and get other housing-related assistance.Find Financial Help
Find help with other problems, like domestic violence, health coverage, food benefits, mental health, and other issues.Find Other Services
State information is taken from these sources:Kansas Legal Services FAQGovernor’s Executive Order on utilitiesGovernor's eviction orderPrinceton Eviction Lab's COVID Policy ScorecardsColumbia Law School COVID-19 Eviction Moratoria analysisEnergy and Policy Institute Utility Disconnect TrackerGovernor eviction order extension
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