I was reading this blog post which states:

The good news is that the courts classify the eviction process as a “summary action,” meaning that it is about as quick a legal process as can be. There is no discovery allowed, and the tenants do not have the opportunity to submit an answer and/or counterclaim. The primary issue at hand is simply whether or not the tenant owes money to the landlord.

If a landlord files a suit to evict a tenant due to nonpayment of rent & the tenant overpaid rent in previous months, can the tenant file a counterclaim against the landlord and ask the court to consolidate the two claims in order to prevent eviction? Or is the tenant required to pay the full amount owed and then file a separate lawsuit against the landlord to collect the amount overpaid?

1 Answer 1


The facts are not described clearly, but the bottom-line question is "was the rent actually paid?". For example is the total over-paid rent is equal or greater to the amount owed for the current month, then the tenant is not in arrears. It is s defense to an eviction that you do not owe money. As explained here, if you paid some of the rent but not enough, you can have the eviction dismissed by paying the rent and court costs the court closes on the day of the hearing. Then the tenant avoids eviction (for non-payment), and also does not have to file a separate proceeding.

  • Thanks for your reply. So the conclusion in the above blog post is wrong?
    – S.O.S
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 4:24
  • 2
    No, but I suspect that you think it means that the tenant isn't allowed to speak, which is not what it says.
    – user6726
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 5:03

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