Nicki & Karen

Where Do Evictions Show Up? The Impact on Your Record

Nicki and Karen » May 13, 2024

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From violating your rental agreement to engaging in criminal behavior, a landlord can evict you from your unit for many reasons. An eviction is a legal process that landlords can use to remove tenants from their rental properties. Before signing a lease agreement, read it thoroughly to ensure you understand your rights.

Local and state laws regarding rental units are often complex, which is why it’s important to be clear about the requirements your landlord has placed in the lease agreement. No matter the reason, having an eviction on your record can negatively affect your credit score and make it more difficult for you to rent in the future. Let’s look at the impact an eviction can have on your record.

What is an Eviction?

An eviction is a civil process that allows a landlord to legally remove one of their tenants from their rental property. There are many reasons why a landlord can start these proceedings, which include everything from the rental agreement being breached to the tenant not paying their rent on time. Let’s say that the rental agreement indicates that the tenant can’t place nails in the walls to hang up pieces of art. If the tenant doesn’t abide by this requirement, they could be evicted. 

While evictions are allowed in every state, the laws differ with each. Municipalities can also have their own guidelines for how evictions are handled. There are numerous reasons why landlords choose to pursue evictions. 

Some of these reasons are legitimate. For example, if a tenant isn’t making their payments on time, the landlord is unable to maintain the property’s cash flow, which is a sound reason for eviction. On the other hand, a less reputable landlord may decide to start the eviction process because they want to substantially increase the price of the unit.

As for tenants, evictions can have severe consequences. If you apply to rent a unit at another property, your application could be denied because of the eviction. Keep in mind that the eviction process often starts with receiving a notice from your landlord

At this time, you may be asked to resolve some issues in order to remain in the building. If you don’t provide a remedy, your landlord can start eviction proceedings in court. A judge will listen to testimony and review evidence before deciding if the landlord’s request should be granted or denied. 

Where Does Eviction Show Up on Your Record?

An eviction is a civil issue, which means that it won’t come up in a criminal record. If you’ve been evicted by your landlord, it will be a matter of public record, which means that it could show up on your credit report or in a landlord database. Public records of evictions include court records and online databases. When a landlord begins official eviction proceedings at housing court, records will be kept. It’s possible for landlords to check these records when considering a prospective tenant’s application. 

Your credit report may also include details about an eviction. However, this isn’t always the case. An eviction will only show up on your credit report if your landlord wins a court judgment against you because you didn’t pay the rent or cover the costs of property damageAn eviction can stay on your credit report for seven years even if you pay it off

Landlords can also request rental history reports when attempting to find information about previous evictions. This report contains a list of addresses that the potential tenant has rented from. It should also include the previous landlord’s contact info. 

Along with contacting a prior landlord to check for an eviction, it’s possible to find this information through a background check. Also referred to as tenant screening reports, rental background checks include many important details about an applicant. Keep in mind that the details in these reports can sometimes be inaccurate. 

If your application is denied because of information from a rental background check, you’re legally allowed to ask for the address, phone number, and name of the company that made the report. Your potential landlord might also provide a copy of this report. If you request it from the company within 60 days of having your application denied, you can get the report for free. 

How Does Eviction Affect Your Record?

An eviction can negatively affect your record in several ways. For example, it may harm your ability to gain approval when submitting a rental application. Most landlords won’t rent to someone who has an eviction. If you were evicted because you owed money, you can increase your chances of having a rental application approved by paying off any remaining debt related to the eviction. 

As for your creditworthiness, lenders may be less likely to give you a loan if your eviction was caused by not making payments on time. However, evictions don’t always show up on credit reports. The easiest way for an eviction to damage your creditworthiness is if outstanding payments are turned over to a collection agency. 

Your score could drop by a considerable amount, which is why it’s best to repay any outstanding debt you owe to your landlord as soon as possible following the eviction. Accounts that are sent to collections will show up in your credit report for seven years. Keep in mind that payment history makes up 35% of your total credit score. If you repay everything you owe quickly, some credit-scoring platforms won’t include this info in their calculations. 

If you’re seeking a job, having an eviction on your record could also impact your opportunities. In most cases, an eviction shouldn’t alter your job search one way or the other. However, some employers believe that an eviction is evidence that a job applicant is unable to properly manage money. 

When you wish to purchase a home, an eviction won’t disqualify you from obtaining a mortgage. It can, however, raise red flags with the lender. Your lender may respond by looking further into your rental history to determine why you were evicted. Before approving the loan, your lender might ask you to provide them with additional reassurances in the form of a higher down payment or extra documentation

Can You Remove Evictions from Your Record?

If you believe that you’ve been incorrectly evicted from a home or apartment, you may be able to pursue legal action. In the event that your landlord has sent your past due payments to collections, you can settle this debt whenever you’re able. Once you pay the money you owe, you can ask for the collections account to be taken off your credit report. Consider asking your landlord to remove the eviction record from the tenant-screening reports when you repay your past due rent.

Some states allow people to ask that their eviction records be sealed off or expunged even before seven years have passed. However, these requests are only granted in specific circumstances. Expunged or sealed records can’t be included in your report. Even if you were evicted in recent years, check the records to make sure the info is accurate. For example, once you repay your past due rent, this information should be included on the tenant-screening report.

There’s also a possibility that a single eviction is listed multiple times. This might be caused by multiple stages of your eviction process being listed in the same report. Once seven years have passed, the eviction should be off your report entirely. Challenge any inaccuracies you find to improve your status

You can improve your rental history by paying rental debt, removing outdated information, and disputing errors. If you have ample funds to pay monthly rent at a new apartment, show proof to the landlord. 

Tips for Dealing with Evictions on Your Record

While it can be challenging to handle evictions on your record, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of being approved for a new apartment. If you’ve never been evicted and want to avoid this in the future, make sure you know your rights as a tenant. You should be able to find landlord-tenant laws on the state government’s website. 

If you’re in the process of being evicted, communicate with your landlord. Most landlords want to avoid vacancies and will only begin eviction proceedings if they believe there’s no other recourse. Speak with them to see if there’s anything you can do.

If you believe that you’ve been unfairly evicted, seek legal assistance. There are many law firms that specialize in handling landlord-tenant disputes. You should also take proactive steps to prevent future evictions by paying off any remaining debt and correcting any errors on your credit report or tenant-screening document. 

Conclusion

Evictions can have a serious impact on your record. They can damage your credit score and impact your ability to rent an apartment for seven years. You may also find it more challenging to obtain a job and be approved for a loan. Being proactive about your rights as a tenant is highly recommended to mitigate the issues associated with an eviction. If you’re facing eviction issues, seek support and resources immediately. Law firms will be happy to help you navigate this situation.

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