How long does an eviction stay in your rental history?

Not legal advice: How long an eviction will stay on record will vary depending on the method of research.

A previous landlord can disclose an eviction as long as they keep it on record. With a landlord-to-landlord enquiry, an eviction can remain on your rental history as long as the property you were evicted from is listed on your rental application. A potential landlord may contact a previous landlord to verify that an applicant was indeed a tenant as they have listed on a rental application. In most states a previous landlord is legally able to answer questions of fact, but will avoid answering questions of opinion.

A record of eviction may be found by a credit check for up to seven years. This is because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that prohibits consumer credit reporting agencies from providing civil suit information that is more than seven years old as well as most adverse items more than seven years old. An eviction is an adverse item and generally involves a civil suit.

A county court’s public record of an eviction may exist indefinitely. An eviction most often involves civil action through the county court. This kind of information is public record and is available for as long as the county maintains their records. If public record shows that someone was a defendant in a civil suit or hearing regarding an eviction, it can be assumed that they were evicted. This is especially evident when the other party in the matter is a real estate company.

A delinquent renter may avoid the hassle of an eviction if they work with the landlord. The tenant could agree to move out and to make more manageable payments until their back rent is paid in exchange for the landlord not taking legal action or affecting the renter’s credit report. The landlord benefits by being able to rent to a new applicant that will pay their rent and the former tenant benefits by avoiding the burden of any documentation of their lapse of financial responsibility.

Updated on Friday, May 18 2012 at 10:50PM EDT
Source: www.ftc.gov/...
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