Evictions can make it difficult or impossible to rent a house or apartment. Landlords usually rent to people with evictions only if they have no other qualified prospects. Someone with an eviction is considered a credit risk, with landlords likely to significantly increase the deposit or require several months rent paid in advance on a month-to-month lease. Eviction information cannot be removed because it is a public record entered in court. However, knowing you have an eviction allows you to develop a strategy for renting despite the information.
Obtain the same tenant screening reports that landlords receive. Tenant screening companies buy eviction records from third-party sources who review court records each day. The screening companies then sell the information to landlords. Some tenant screening companies also sell information directly to individuals after you supply personal identification such as your Social Security number and driver's license.
Find tenant screening companies by calling several local apartment complexes. Identify yourself only by your first name for privacy reasons. Explain that you are looking for an apartment but have some questions about background checks conducted by the complex. Then ask for the name of the company the complex uses for tenant screening along with a phone number. If necessary, tell the apartment complex representative that you want to ask the screening company how it collects information.
Ask for help from a research assistant at your local library if you don't have a telephone number or web address for the screening companies. Use the assistant's help to identify contact information for several tenant screening agencies.
Contact customer service departments for two of the agencies. Tell them you want to order a tenant background check on yourself. Ordering reports from two separate agencies allows you to compare the reports. Follow the customer service representative's directions for ordering. Then order the reports.
- Evictions typically do not appear on credit reports, according to Experian, a major credit reporting agency. An eviction is a separate court action rather than information that is reported to credit bureaus. However, some landlords file lawsuits to collect unpaid rent after an eviction and win monetary judgments in court. The judgment will show up on credit reports. A judgment could also affect your ability to rent a home or apartment. Check your credit report by ordering a free copy from AnnualCreditReport.com, a website endorsed by the Federal Trade Commission to offer free reports under the terms of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
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