Studies have shown a strong and direct correlation between eviction and mental health, with a sudden eviction—or even the mere threat of it—causing stress, anxiety, depression, and more. According to one report, as many as 30 million U.S. renters are vulnerable to being banished from their homes, including many who reside in New York City.
Read on to learn more about how eviction can impact mental health, and what you can do about the unexpected stress that comes with housing instability.
The Physical and Mental Health Impacts of Eviction
Study after study has shown the negative health impacts of eviction on both the body and the mind. Physically speaking, people who are under the threat of eviction report poorer health than those with stable housing, manifesting primarily in higher blood pressure and other cardiovascular-related issues.
Mentally, the toll an eviction takes can prove even more harmful. Residential instability has been linked to heightened levels of depression, anxiety, isolation, helplessness and alienation, particularly in children and young adults, who are often forced to change schools and/or find themselves disconnected from work or public transportation through no fault of their own.
Moreover, the process of dispossession takes a lot of time, and every step along the way, from court dates to summons, can produce extreme levels of eviction stress and anxiety, putting the renter under sustained emotional strain throughout the process.
The Best Way to Deal with An Eviction
When it comes to evictions and health outcomes, the best and most effective way to limit the negative mental consequences—aside from accessing counseling services—is to confront the stressor head-on
Here are some helpful tips:
Study the laws of the state you live in
Just because you’ve received a notice of eviction, it doesn’t mean your landlord necessarily has the right to evict you. That’s why you should make sure to read the “Landlord and Tenant Act” alongside your state’s regulations.
This act describes the eviction process in great detail, so make sure to get a copy from the local courthouse or the attorney general’s site. Pay close attention to segments on wrongful evictions. If you believe you’ve been dispossessed illegally, you can take a legal course of action against the landlord and claim damages.
Common reasons eviction may occur:
- Lease violation, including lying on the application
- Nonpayment of rent
- Dangerous activities/damage to the premises
Find a storage space for your belongings
During the process of dispossession, even if you feel it’s your right to remain in the home, it’s best practice to begin searching for a place to store your stuff in the unfortunate case you are evicted.
Family and friends are often willing to keep smaller items, but the most convenient solution is to find a storage space that can contain your large pieces of furniture, as well as any other possessions you’re unwilling to give up.
This precaution will ensure that you have all of your belongings in a safe place, even in the face of eviction stress.
Practice coping strategies
In the case you receive an eviction notice, it’s best not to panic. In fact, considering the correlation between eviction and mental health, it’s critical to remain calm and think through the situation thoroughly. For example, you can research possible ways to avoid dispossession by reviewing your rights and speaking with your landlord.
If the corrective course of action isn’t feasible, pack your things and begin planning. The owner may give you additional time if you require it. Make sure to seek assistance from friends, families, and government agencies, as you may need support finding a new home.
It’s imperative to get yourself engaged in activities and hobbies you love to minimize the effect of eviction and the health outcomes that may come with it.
Bennett Movers is one of the leading moving companies in New York and New Jersey, with over 25 years of experience handling evictions. We understand the mental and emotional stress that the eviction process can cause, and we can help with all the necessary documentation and paperwork in order to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
For more information related to our moving and eviction services, visit our homepage. If you need eviction movers urgently, contact us today!