No one wants to go through an eviction. Not the landlord, and especially not the tenant. As a tenant, being removed from a rental property can have serious consequences. Evictions negatively impact public records and rental history and can affect your credit.
When a tenant fails to pay rent or meet the requirements of the rental agreement, the landlord gives notice, which provides the tenant a chance to make things right. However, if the tenant still doesn’t follow the contract, the landlord will file suit in court, and an eviction judgment is likely to be handed down.
Evictions can stay on your public record for up to seven years. And your credit reports will show the financial effects of eviction for the same period. The eviction will fall off of your public record — and eviction-related financial debts will drop off your credit reports — after those seven years. Still, during that time, the failure to pay can affect credit scores. The eviction will make it difficult for another landlord to offer you a rental agreement.
So, it makes sense to do all you can to avoid an eviction. Another thing to consider is filing for a complete rental history background check and receiving a free credit report to see if eviction-related debts are listed.
An eviction can remain on your record for up to seven years, depending on the state where it happened. Eviction isn’t just removing someone from premises; it’s a process involving legal notices and court proceedings that can take several weeks.
But it’s not inevitable. If you’re worried about possible eviction, there are financial resources to help you stay in your home and pay your bills. For example, Self customers have access to SpringFour, which can provide access to housing, utility, food, job search, and other assistance resources you can use to avoid eviction and get back on your feet.
Eviction, in general, takes multiple steps:
The amount of time it takes to move through the eviction process varies depending on where you live and if the eviction is with cause or without cause. If tenants comply with the written notice, eviction can take 30 days or less. However, if the landlord has to file a lawsuit, the process may take six weeks or more.
The formal warning from the landlord or property manager to the tenant is known as a "pay or vacate notice" or "quit notice." The quit notice informs the tenant that the tenant violated the lease by missing rent payments (usually more than one month's rent) or violating another rule in the rental contract.
This notice gives the tenant a chance to comply with their lease before any court proceedings take place.
Through the pay or vacate notice provided by certified mail, the landlord details the date of notice and how many days the tenant has to comply, pay back rent, and abide by the rental agreement.
Suppose the tenant fails to pay or comply within the specified timeframe. In that case, the landlord will usually take the eviction case to court.
Judgment is the final step in the eviction process. This typically involves a landlord filing a civil case against the tenant. Suppose the tenant is found by a judge or jury to have violated the lease agreement. In that case, a judgment will be issued against the tenant, after which the eviction will appear on the tenant's rental history report and in a court record.
The eviction itself should NOT show up on a credit report; however, civil judgments resulting from an eviction (such as missed payments, collections, etc.) will show up on a credit report.
Removing an eviction from your public record is relatively simple for a tenant to pursue after having been evicted and having gone through the civil judgment process. First, however, you need to take steps to remove the eviction from public records and then from your credit reports.
Removing an eviction from the public record takes several steps, but it can be done.
Once you’ve taken the necessary steps — and paid back rent, fees, and the like — to remove an eviction from the public record, it’s time to clean up your credit reports.
Even with an eviction judgment on your record, it is still possible to enter into a rental agreement with another landlord — if handled the proper way.
Besides being a negative factor for future landlords to consider, an eviction with a financial civil judgment on your record has other repercussions.
These repercussions can include a lack of employment opportunities, declined rental applications, a negative credit record and lower credit scores, and lenders refusing to loan money to you.
It may not seem like an eviction would affect your credit scores and show up on a credit report from reporting agencies. Still, there are credit-related effects from rental issues, just like if you had misused credit cards.
Unpaid rent from a lease agreement can be viewed as any other debt if a collection agency becomes involved. Unpaid debt can remain on a credit record, negatively impacting credit scores from the three major credit bureaus.
After an eviction, a landlord might try to recoup unpaid rent by filing a lawsuit in small claims court. If this happens and the judgment goes against you, the judgment stays on the public record for seven years and will be listed in your credit report.
No one wants to go through an eviction. But sometimes, life circumstances change, and your ability to pay rent to a landlord is restricted.
Do all you can to avoid eviction by working with your landlord, even before they start proceedings.
An eviction judgment against a renter and any resulting civil judgments to recoup unpaid rent will stay on public records — and can negatively affect credit reports and scores — for up to seven years.
Sometimes the tenant can have the eviction record deleted, depending on the circumstances. First, however, the renter needs to pay off past debts, pay current debts on time, and rebuild credit. These steps can help prove to future landlords that you are trustworthy and ensure rental options will be available down the road.
Lauren Bringle is an Accredited Financial Counselor® with Self Financial– a financial technology company with a mission to help people build credit and savings. See Lauren on Linkedin and Twitter.
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