One of the most dreaded experiences by most tenants is an eviction. You will note that this process is not only inconveniencing but also embarrassing to you as a tenant. Whether you were unable to repay your rent as expected or became an unruly tenant, an eviction is the last thing you would wish to experience in your lifetime. To be on the safe side, it is essential that you prevent the chances of being evicted in the future. One way to achieve this objective is by keeping an eye on your eviction records.
Remember that landlords usually use eviction records in order to screen potential tenants. These records give them a sneak preview of whether the potential tenant has ever been evicted in the past or not. If you have been evicted in the past, these details will feature in the eviction records and can make it difficult for you to rent an apartment in the future. In this article, we shall take a closer look at how one can find out if he has an eviction on his or her record for free and other related areas.
What Is An Eviction Report?
Simply put, an eviction record has all the history of all eviction cases that have been filed against a certain tenant. Some of the details that may feature in this report include the eviction cases that were filed but later got dismissed.
Also, it may contain eviction cases that the tenant won in the past, depending on the state he or she lives in. It is imperative to note that both the tenants and landlords need to look up eviction records every now and then.
Why Does An Eviction Record Matter?
Like we previously mentioned, most landlords usually rely on eviction records as a way of screening their potential tenants. If a tenant has been evicted in the past, these details will feature on these records, and as a result, the landlord will know that the tenant has been evicted in the past.
Since people tend to have a patterned behavior, he or they may expect the same to recur in the future. This means that at some point, the tenant may be difficult to work with. Therefore, the landlord has to tread carefully whenever he or she is dealing with such tenants. For instance, the landlord can ask the tenant to pay a higher deposit as a way of mitigating such problems in the future.
On the other hand, tenants also need to know the details showing up on their eviction records. As a result, tenants will be able to ascertain that these details are correct. This is because there may be other renters out there who have the same names, but due to one reason or another, their names found their way to the same eviction report but are not related to the tenant in question.
Other times, the tenant may not have been evicted as indicated. This could be due to the fact that they had reached an agreement with the landlord even before the eviction hearing in a court of law. Therefore, the tenant needs to verify these details as they may hinder him or her from getting an apartment in the near future.
If the tenant is aware of these details, he or she will discuss these issues with the prospective landlord early enough and debunk any misconceptions or confusion that may be there as far as evictions are concerned.
Ways On How To Find Out If I Have An Eviction On My Record For Free
If you want to check whether you have an eviction on your records for free, there are many ways that can help you get started. These include:
1. Check the Court records
One of the most thorough ways of finding out if you have an eviction on your records is by visiting your state’s court website. Better still, you can visit the website of the court that is located in the same county or city as the rental unit.
In any case, eviction is usually a formal process, and thus if you have been evicted by court order in the past, chances are that the eviction will show up in the courthouse of the county where you used to live previously.
The good news is that these records are usually public, and thus anyone can access them. If you do not find these details online, you can opt to visit the court physically and ask the clerk that you will find there to inspect the records for you.
2. Check your credit report
In case you were evicted in the past, chances are that the court judgment will feature in the public records section of your credit report. Also, if you owe the landlord some money, the credit report may also contain these details. Therefore, you should request a credit report from one of the three main credit reporting agencies. These include Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The good news is that these agencies usually offer a free credit report for free once in every 12 months.
You can also order yours at AnnualCreditReport.com. To avoid future problems, you should order a credit report from all the 3 agencies mentioned above. Chances are that eviction may appear in any of these reports and thus inconvenience you in the future.
3. Use a third-party service
It is no secret that the process of finding the right courthouse can be daunting process. In fact, checking every record you will find online can be tedious too. Besides this, you may not have an idea of which courts operate in the county or state that you used to live in several years ago. To avert all these hassles, you should hire a 3rd party service to do this for you.
Currently, there are a number of 3rd party companies that can run an eviction record on your behalf for free. Here, they will review the court records and then let you know these details on the go. Some usually charge a fee, while others offer these services for free. If you are a tenant, you are only allowed to request for your eviction record report once in every 12 months. Some of the companies that can help you get started include; LexisNexis, Experian, and CoreLogic.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are evictions added to the public records?
Yes. If you were evicted in the past, details about your eviction will feature in the public records after they have been filed with the court system. Depending on how the judge ruled on your case, these details may feature in the criminal background check as well.
How can I get my eviction removed from the public records?
First and foremost, only a few states allow tenants to expunge an eviction case from the public records. If you want to remove an eviction from the public records, you have to file a formal petition with the court to have the eviction expunged, sealed, or even suppressed. However, this depends on the state that you live in.
For instance, some states usually allow tenants to enjoy this benefit only if there are no outstanding money judgments. In this case, they have to pay any past-due rent in full. Also, pay for any damages caused or other related fees that were ordered to be paid during the eviction hearing.
How far back do apartments look for evictions?
Remember that eviction records usually remain on public records for up to 7 years. This means that the eviction records can still show up on your screen report for as far as 7 years ago. Therefore, if you were evicted 6 to 7 years ago, these details will be present on your current eviction history or rental history, and your landlord will see these details anytime you apply for an apartment.
How soon does an eviction show up?
Typically, evictions usually show up on records after a period of 30 to 60 days. However, this period depends on the court system that is determining your eviction case. Other factors that influence this duration include the filing agency, the type of screening services, and so forth.
Can I get an apartment with an eviction?
Yes. The good news is that there are many landlords who are ready to allow tenants with evictions to rent their apartments. However, you must be honest with the landlord as he or she may be hesitant at first to accept you. Also, be convincing enough so that the landlord can believe you and allow you to be a tenant in his or her apartment.
Do dismissed eviction show up on the background checks?
Not really. However, there are scenarios when they might still be retained by the court system and thus feature on the background checks. In case the landlord does not read the entire document and only gets to see an existing eviction filing, he may have a bad assumption about you. However, dismissed evictions can now be expunged from the eviction records of the tenants by filing a formal petition with the court.
The process of finding out if you have an eviction on your record is generally simple and straightforward. As a tenant, you should routinely check your eviction records so that you can have an easy time any time you want to rent a new apartment. In case there are evictions that you were not sure about, you can go ahead and fix any discrepancies before your landlord gets to know about them. Consider these ideas today, and you will avoid the inconveniences caused by evictions in the near future.