At some point in our life, we experience financial difficulties, whether due to job loss, unexpected expenses, or other personal factors.
Unfortunately, money problems result in other challenges like failing to pay our rent on time, which can lead to eviction.
And whether you experienced eviction or not, you will probably want to know if it will appear on background checks.
This article will provide information on whether evictions show up on background checks, the importance of checking for them during your background check, and how to see if there’s an eviction record under your name.
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What is Eviction?
Eviction is the process of legally forcing a tenant to leave a rental property. In some cases, tenants may be given advance notice or have to move out immediately, depending on their landlord’s terms and the laws in your state.
There are many reasons why an eviction might take place, but the most common one is when a tenant doesn’t pay their rent on time.
Other possible grounds for eviction include frequently paying rent late, criminal activity on the property, and damaging or destroying rental property.
Do Evictions Show Up on a Background Check?
No, evictions don’t show up on background checks. Evictions are civil cases that will not appear on background checks unless related to misdemeanor charges or another crime.
While a criminal history report will show if someone has prior convictions, it won’t display evictions. Background check services that concentrate on criminal records will exclude eviction data.
As for your credit check, the eviction itself won’t also reflect, but the outstanding debts and collections that caused the eviction will. Your credit may be affected if you have fallen behind on rent payments.
Any unpaid debts after an eviction, such as outstanding rent owed could be sent to a collection agency.
It is why it’s important to closely review your credit report from each of the leading credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, annually.
Why is it Important to Do a Background Check for Eviction?
The last thing a landlord wants is a tenant that threatens them or other tenants. A previous history of violence or being registered as a sex offender creates too much liability risk for landlords.
To avoid this, most landlords will run a background check on anyone they’re considering renting to.
For financial stability
In addition to ensuring the safety of their tenants, landlords want to protect their investments and minimize any potential financial losses.
It is why it’s so important for landlords to do a background check for evictions, as eviction is a clear indicator that the tenant may be unreliable about paying rent on time or at all.
For peace of mind
Landlords also want to feel at ease knowing that the tenants in their properties are responsible and reliable.
By doing a background check for evictions, landlords can rest assured that they’re renting to someone with an excellent rental history, as eviction is usually a sign of financial instability or irresponsible behavior.
To avoid legal issues
Landlords may also choose to do a background check for evictions as a way of ensuring that they are legally protected.
Eviction can be difficult and time-consuming, so some landlords will run this check to ensure that their tenants meet the required standards before renting to them.
Reduce tenant turnover rate
Eviction is often a stressful and traumatic experience for tenants, which can lead many of them to leave their rental property as soon as possible, even if there are no other options.
By identifying these potentially troublesome tenants before they have the chance to rent, landlords can reduce the risk that the tenant will cause problems in the future, which will ultimately help lower your tenant turnover rate.
How Soon Does Eviction Show Up?
Generally, an eviction notice takes 30 to 60 days to appear on public records.
The exact time depends on the court system, the filing agency, and the screening service being used.
How Long Does an Eviction Report Stay on Your Record?
Most tenant screening reports will show a previous eviction for at least seven years. Having an eviction judgment on your rental history report can make it extremely difficult to rent anywhere.
Therefore, it is crucial to be proactive about your rental history and ensure that all evictions are properly resolved.
Removing an eviction from the court system’s public eye means that, for all intents and purposes, the eviction never took place. If you want to clear your eviction record before seven years, you can have it expunged.
Once this occurs, future landlords shouldn’t be able to see the eviction on a tenant’s rental history.
You need to file a form with the court to expunge an eviction from your record. You can do this in person, via mail, or online e-filing.
You also need to serve notice of your filing to the landlord involved. The landlord then has a set amount of time, usually 30 days, to object to sealing the record.
There are a few things that a judge will take into consideration when making the decision to grant or deny an eviction expungement.
It can include: whether the tenant still owes rent or any debt to the landlord, whether both parties agreed on a settlement, proof that the tenant did not violate their lease agreement, and what happened with the original eviction case.
How to See if an Eviction is on Your Record?
One way is to use a tenant screening service, which will typically charge a fee for this information. You can also contact the local court system or housing authority directly to request this information.
Another option is to do a background check using an online service. These services will provide you with a detailed report of your rental history, including any evictions that may be on your record.
Do Evictions Show Up in Other States?
An eviction is public record landlords, or creditors can access in other states. It can also appear on your credit history, lowering your credit score and making it more difficult to rent from another landlord.
Maintaining a good reputation as a tenant is crucial to finding a good place to live. You need to be proactive about any evictions on your record and take steps to resolve them before they become issues with future landlords.
Landlords perform background checks not just to check for previous evictions but also to evaluate your overall rental history.
If you have had a history of trouble paying rent or causing problems in your rental properties, finding a landlord willing to take a chance on you will be much more difficult.
To improve your chances of renting successfully, focus on building good credit and paying your rent on time.