Investigate a potential tenant’s eviction history in the state of New York by talking to past landlords, researching court documents or purchasing an eviction report. An applicant’s past history regarding payment and property damage may indicate future behavior. One way to reduce the possibility of risky renters from leasing property is to check for past evictions.
Get a signed background check consent form from the applicant. This will allow you to contact all of the potential tenant's previous landlords and legally ask if they have ever been evicted before. The consent form may need to be faxed over to the previous landlord to verify that you have consent to inquire about their history. Verify all of the previous landlord's claims by checking with local courts. It is illegal in New York to evict someone without a court process.
Pay for an eviction report. Different from a credit report, which documents debt behavior, an eviction report will show if and when your applicant has previously been evicted. Eviction information may be included on a credit report if a money judgment was ordered, but there is no guarantee. There are many sites on the Internet that offer an eviction report service for a fee. These sites have access to a nationwide database that allows them to check for rental history in every county in the state of New York. Most services also come with a criminal and credit report as well.
Ask the potential tenant if he has had any past evictions. Some people will be openly honest and let you know up front about any past evictions. Getting a statement directly from the potential tenant also can give you an indication of their integrity by cross-referencing their statements with a background check. Any deviations from their statement to their background check may mean they are hiding a possible eviction and may prove to be a risky renter.
Contact your county's courthouse in New York. Locate your county's courthouse by going to the New York State Unified Court System website. Call your county's court clerk, and ask about your potential tenant's eviction records.