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From the Experts at

What Happens To Your Credit When You Get Evicted?

by Lucy Lazarony

What Happens To Your Credit When You Get Evicted

Getting evicted from an apartment can make it difficult to find a new place to live and it can affect your credit history, as well, if your landlord obtains an eviction judgment against you in court.

Once a judge has ruled in favor of the landlord and that judgment is considered final, the
three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, receive notices of the eviction. And the eviction is added to the “public records” section of your credit report.

Public records (such as bankruptcies and tax liens), and civil court judgments (such as evictions) stay on your credit report for seven years from the filing date and do some serious damage to your credit score.

Collection accounts are also listed in the public records section of your credit report.
If you failed to pay rent and your account was handed over to a collection agency, a collection account for your unpaid rent would appear here.

Collection accounts remain on your credit report for seven years from the original delinquency date of the debt, according to Experian.

If you’ve been evicted from a townhouse, apartment or rental home, it may be difficult to qualify for a new rental if a potential landlord checks your credit history.

Plus, many landlords use tenant screening services to screen future renters and it is likely that a screening company would inform a landlord or property manager of your past eviction, with or without a credit check.

Tenant screening services track down where you have lived in the past and whether you have paid your rent as agreed.

The best way to make amends for unpaid rent is to reach out to the former landlord or collection agency and make up for those missed payments.

Most landlords will be unwilling to lease to a tenant who has been evicted from another rental and hasn’t made an effort to pay off the debt, according to TransUnion.

  • Gerri Detweiler

    Yes that’s a form of identity theft. You need to take the appropriate steps, including filing a police report, checking your credit reports, etc. You’ll find more tips here: What Should I Do If I’m a Victim Of Identity Theft

  • lindam313

    This happened in 2009. Is that a factor?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      It’s a little late to file a report but I’d still suggest you try. If they’ve done anything else with your info it will be very helpful to have a police report.

  • Gerri Detweiler

    The fact that there is new management is probably not a good enough reason to break your lease, but if there are other problems, then you may be able to do so. I recommend you do two things: 1. Put your complaints in writing and send it to the new management by certified mail and keep a copy for your records and 2. educate yourself on landlord tenant laws in your state to see if any have been violated. Your local housing authority may be able to help as well. state landlord tenant laws

    Please be careful – we’ve heard so many horror stories from tenants about their credit being ruined after they broke a lease early. Document, document, document – and know your rights.

  • ccurtisce

    What if you hand the payment to the landlord. Then the next day get a pay in 3 days or leave. Yes we were beyond un happy cause they dI’d nothing and there were cockroaches in the cabinets. We put a stop payment on the check Monday morning. Then after she called aND said sorry I found the check. We have proof of all the problems and decided to leave.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      The landlords actions may not be legal. I suggest you research state landlord tenant laws in your state and contact your local housing authority if necessary.

  • Sean

    What if the reason for the eviction has nothing to do with paying on time? For example, if there is a dispute about how to interpret a term in the contract and the landlord seeks recourse through an eviction process, would that sort of an eviction be placed on a credit record in the event that the landlord wins? Even if there is not a dispute and both parties agree that the tenant is breaking a term in the lease, but the term has nothing to do with on-time payments (e.g., having a pet when they’re not supposed to), does eviction on these bases result in an adverse credit record?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      If the eviction is recorded in the courts and is part of the public record it will likely appear on your credit reports. Keep good records, though, as you may have a basis for disputing it.

  • Gerri Detweiler

    Your state should have laws that protect tenants in these situations. Here is a resource for researching state landlord tenant laws.

  • Gerri Detweiler

    Is it on your credit reports? That’s the first thing to find out. If so, it can still be disputed though it may be hard to get removed. Have you tried contacting the Legal Aid Society in NY for help with the credit reporting issue?

    • Amy

      I don’t know if it is on their credit reports. I know they got turned down for a pre-approval from one bank for bad credit but got pre-approved from another. But this person has a history of bad credit. I feel like tenants have no rights. Tenants should have a way of screening landlords to make sure the landlords are not slumlords. Not all landlords are that great.

      • Gerri Detweiler

        You’re not the first person to make that suggestion!

  • Gerri Detweiler

    The screening company, by law, must give you instructions for ordering a free copy of your report from the source they used. Did you get that notification and did you get the report? If not, ask the screening company for the disclosure.

  • Gerri Detweiler

    If I understand your question correctly, you terminated your lease early and the landlord has now sent you to collections correct? Unfortunately if you break a lease early that’s always a possibility. Your goal now should be to resolve the account so you can start rebuilding your credit. One collection account alone shouldn’t completely derail your plans to buy a home – it’s the overall credit score a lender looks at. In addition, it’s possible they may agree to remove it if you pay it, but you’ll need to negotiate that and get it in writing. (There is no guarantee, but it’s worth trying.) We wrote about that here: Removing Collection Accounts from Your Credit Reports

  • Chris

    I have recently separated with my girlfriend who shares an apartment with me. She pays nothing and I pay for everything. She is on the lease however. I have left the property, but she is unwilling to leave. How can I approach this? A lawyer told me I may have no choice but to go through the eviction process to separate fully. I have great credit and do not want to mess this up. Any ideas? State of Florida.

    • Credit Experts

      You will do well to seek legal counsel. It’s likely your lease does not specify that you owe the money only as long as you live in the apartment and the relationship continues — and the apartment manager’s main concern is being sure rent is paid. Does the lease allow one of you to give 30 days’ notice? Or does it require the consent of both parties? While we understand you are not married, some of the advice in this post might be useful:
      What Happens to Your Credit When You Get Divorced?

  • Gerri Detweiler

    Albert –

    An eviction can only be reported for seven years from the date it occurred. So it sounds like it will come off your credit reports next year.

    • albert

      Thanks for your response, but is not on my credit but my actual record and i was told its there for life… i dont understand..

      • Gerri Detweiler

        I don’t know what you mean either by your “actual record.” If you were denied an apartment due to an eviction listed in a consumer report of some kind, by law they must provide you with a written notice explaining where they got that information and give you the opportunity to request a copy.

        Who told you that?

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Perhaps you mean there is a judgment on your credit report? Unpaid judgments can be reported indefinitely. If you haven’t already, please get your credit reports from all three bureaus to see what is listed: Here’s how to get your free annual credit reports.

          And please read this article: Help! I Found a Judgment on My Credit Report

          • Alberto

            i have someone working on my credit repairing so we checked and it was not there… but it must be on my record outside of my credit report since this condominium was able to see it.. so as per what you said it will be there permanently until i get to contact the landlord that did this to me then…

          • Gerri Detweiler

            Alberto – I am not sure what “it” is. Without knowing what report they were looking at it’s really hard for me to tell. Can you go back to them and ask them what the source for that information was? They may be required by law to tell you that.

  • Gerri Detweiler

    File a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or talk with a consumer law attorney. The company that checked your record may have broken the law.

  • Credit Experts

    It shouldn’t, though it could, indirectly, if you didn’t pay rent due and that was sent to a collection agency. A collection would hurt your credit score.

  • shan

    If I am moving out the last month of my lease and. I have a deposit equal to the last month’s rent would they still take you to court?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      If your deposit was a security deposit – and not last month’s rent – then not paying your last month’s rent could put you in default. As to what the landlord will do, it’s hard for me to speculate. You may want to research your state landlord tenant laws before you put your credit at risk.

  • Angel21

    If im my account has gone into collections will they garnish my taxes.

    • Credit Experts

      Garnishment happens only after there has been a judgment. (They would have to first sue you and win in court.)

  • Justin

    I am currently a tenant in VA, and I believe that I have legal grounds to have broken my lease agreement, due to a clause that states a lease can be broken if the employer listed on the application transfers the tenant to another job outside of a 50-mile radius. I transferred from one US government agency to another (different agencies, but still within the federal government). I see this as a qualifying reason; the landlord doesn’t see it this way. I have since relocated and stopped paying rent, and the landlord is taking me to court. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, I understand that a judgment will be issued against me and a collection agency will come after me to pay the rent due. If I pay the past rent within 30 days, would my credit score still be negatively affected? Thank you

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Unfortunately, if a judgment is issued and appears on your credit reports it will be negative, even if you pay it off right away. It sounds to me like your best bet – short of hiring an attorney to fight back – is to resolve it before it gets to court. If you do that, make sure you get something in writing stating that they will drop the lawsuit when you pay.

  • Brandy

    What if your landlord never gave you a lease agreement to sign, can he put anything on my credit?

  • Brandy

    If I never signed an lease agreement the will he be able to put anything on my credit record?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      It depends. If he takes you to court and gets a judgment that will be reported. But without a signed lease he may not be able to successfully sue you. Similarly if he turns your account over to collections that will affect your credit, but you may be able to dispute it. It really depends on the facts and circumstances.

  • crystal

    I have a old collections account that is almost 7 years old, it was from an apartment that I was a co sign on and we broke the lease. The collection agency had it reported as closed and no report from April 2014. Now they are reporting it again as a open account and as an individual account. What can I do? Will it still come off my credit report in 7 years which will be Oct. 2015?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      When did you break the lease? The collection account should be reported for seven years plus 180 days from when you missed the rent payment leading up to it being sent to collections.

  • t

    I am a landlord who has given notice to my tenants and they are waiting for the council to find them somewhere. If I have to get a court order to evict them does it effect their credit rating.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      I’m sorry but we don’t know details of how that works in the UK. In the US, a court ordered eviction would affect at least a tenant history report.

  • Emily

    My husband and I tried getting an apartment last month and they denied us because my husband supposedly has an eviction, but its not him, its his dad who has the same exact name, and my husband wasn’t even old enough to rent when the eviction happened. How did the third party get this information mixed up if we submitted my husbands social security, and this eviction doesn’t even appear on his Experian acct.? We are mind boggled.

    • Credit Experts

      Emily —
      Please check your email. We’re trying to reach you to get more information.

  • doyouboo

    I have an eviction on my record from a slum landlord I have taken to court already. I have already gotten my credit report from Trans Union and there isn’t anything on my “Public Records” section and it says “there isn’t any info at this time”.. What does that mean?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      I don’t know – I just can’t picture the scenario you are describing on your credit report. Where does it say there isn’t any info? On what tradeline?

  • deidra Murphy

    My mother lost her home and they put on my credit report that I was forcibly evicted even though my name was not on the mortgage and had moved in with my grandparents

    • deidra

      What I want to know is how do I get it off of my credit report and can they do that?

  • moni

    I rent an apartment with 3 other roommates and due to personal reasons I need to leave. Our lease ends in december. Is there any way I can terminate myself from the lease or have someone replace me without it negatively effecting me?

    • Credit Experts

      What does your lease say? You could also try to appeal to your landlord, but if you do that, please be sure you get any agreement in writing.

  • jas87

    If my apartments file for eviction on the 16th but i pay everything in full on the 19th will the fact that an eviction was filed show up on my credit report. Even if i stay in the aparttment and pay my rent for the remainder of the lease

    • Credit Experts

      An eviction won’t show up on your credit report (though it could show up on a tenant screening report). An eviction can indirectly affect your credit if the bill for rent is turned over to a collection agency. Collections DO go on your credit report.

  • Kali Geldis

    Hi —

    An eviction may not appear on you credit report, as the original landlord said, but there are still specialized consumer reports that landlords use where the eviction could still be showing up, giving the new landlord/management company a reason to deny you. Ask the new landlord what report they’re looking at. You can get your credit reports at, and you can ask your landlord where they got the specialty consumer report they used to deny you the apartment and call that company to get the report or to dispute the eviction’s appearance on your report.

    Hope that helps!

  • Richard Matthew

    I am a landlord in Florida. I had a 8 month lease with tenets that ended Oct 23 2014. I had a seasonal tenet that was supposed to move in Jan 1 2015 On Nov 6th 2014 I gave written notice to be out of house by Dec. 3, 2014. They ignored it. I right away filed for eviction with courts. It draged out till Jan. 28 2015. The tenets refused to give me rent all of that time,. 2 months almost. When we saw the Judge and the Judge asked why you did not pay rent? They said I have cancer and I think I should get free rent. The Judge responded back saying there’s no such thing as free rent. Then the tenets blerted out I cut ultilties. Then Judge said he cut you off water and electric. They answered no, he cut off our wifi. Then the judge said hes not required to give you wifi. Then the Judge ruled he owes me 2 months back rent of 1800 dollars. Then tenets said we cant offered that. Then the Judge said you cant cant offered don’t mater, that’s what you owe. Then Judge gave them 24 hours to vacate. After the Judge ruled that she asked the Judge how dose she proceed of filling stalking charges against me? Judge said go to another court for that. The day of eviction came they moved their things out and drove off. I don’t know where their location they went to file claim. My Question, I do have Judgement on them of me taking the house in possesion, And they put eviction notice on door. Will their eviction show up on the data base of people getting evictions? That’s so future landlords can have the information about their history? I went to county and they said they have records of it only in that county. So if he gose to next county nothing will show up on them?. Dose this agency pick up their record and put it in their data base of information?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Richard – As we mentioned in the article, evictions and judgments are public record items and there are companies that gather this information for consumer reporting agencies. If a future landlord runs a credit and/or background check there is a very good chance it will show up on those reports.

  • Gerri Detweiler

    Sandy – I am sorry I don’t understand your question. Why would they send you a letter of satisfaction if you never lived there? Did they tell you which company they used to check your rental history? Have you requested a free copy as entitled to by law? Did you get the copy of your report and dispute the inaccurate conviction? It’s the same process as disputing a credit report.

    A Step-By-Step Guide to Disputing Credit Report Mistakes

  • Gerri Detweiler

    It is likely the bank is trying to make sure it follows the law with regard to what they have to do to evict a tenant who was living in the foreclosed home. Have you tried talking with the bank to let them know you have already moved out? If you didn’t have a lease I don’t see how this could affect your credit.

  • MamaB1883

    I rented a home in Indiana as the primary renter and my friend is listed as a secondary renter. Due to unforeseen circumstances I had to move back home (out of state-Illinois) and she and her family have remained in the home and maintained all responsibility as of Jan. 19, 2015. My name has not been removed from the lease yet, and she messaged me today saying that they have now received a summons for court, as thy have fallen behind. Is there any way to prevent myself from being held responsible since I no longer reside there, or will it require legal action?

    • Credit Experts

      MamaB1883 —
      You should seek legal advice. Having your name on the lease is a big problem.

  • Jan

    I am planning to rent a house, but I’m planning of living there only part of the time and the other time my daughter will live there. The problem is she has a past eviction. What are the ramifications if my name is only on the lease?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      i am not sure what you mean by ramifications, but you’ll be responsible for the rent plus any damages. You would be wise to make sure the landlord agrees in writing that your daughter can live there. If not, you may be in violation of your lease.

  • Stephanie Dominique Harris

    Hi, my husband and I are renting a home that we signed a year lease with his sister and her boyfriend. They split up and he moved out but then a few months later they got back together and she left too, now there is three months of rent left and one month they have not paid on their end. My husband and I are in the loan process of a mortgage and about to close on a home shortly after the lease is up. Will them not paying their half of the rent affect us being approved for the mortgage?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Yes, if the debt is turned over to a collection agency and appears as a new collection account on your credit reports it may cause problems for your loan – and could even derail it. As a cosigner you are legally responsible for the entire debt unfortunately.

  • Jay

    Hi guys, I’m in a co-lease with one other roommate, she lost her job a few months ago, and we are very behind on rent because of it. I don’t see anyway to avoid an eviction at this point. So I’m wondering what steps I can take to lessen the impact an eviction will have on my life. My plan is to move into a studio apartment I have my eyes on in the summer, and my current job pays 3x the rent of said property; just wondering if that can help out in any way. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  • Matt

    I read here that “Getting evicted from an apartment can make it difficult to find a new place to live and it can affect your credit history, as well, if your landlord obtains an eviction judgment against you in court.”

    If the landlord moves to evict us, and we move out voluntarily within 30 or 60 days, would he/she typically still move forward with obtaining the eviction judgement? I reside in San Francisco. I understand this depends, but curious what you all see occur in practice.

  • Richard Matthew

    I evicted a couple that the Judge decided they owe me 2 months back rent. They left and its imposable to give them a summons when I don’t know their address I talked to the credit bureau and I have to file a judgement in order for their eviction record to show up with their agency. However there are public records landlords go to get background checks on his future tenants. I would like to know if they were recorded on the public records web site. Is there a free or reliable public web site I can go to to find that out.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Evictions are normally reported on the background checks landlord use. I am not sure if you can access their reports at this point, and the last thing you want to do is to create a problem for yourself with impermissible access to their credit information. But if an eviction is in the public record then it should show up when another landlord runs their report.

  • Ashleigh

    Hi there. My husband and I recently got married and before we got married his roommate stopped paying his half of the rent and it caused my husband to get evicted. Now that we are married we want to have a place of our own, but it doesn’t seem possible with an eviction on his credit report. Is there anything we can do?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      It could be tough. After a while it won’t be on his credit reports. Can you qualify for the rent yourself? Could you come up with a larger deposit to help the landlord feel more secure?

  • Shade

    I have pulled my credit report and 2 out of the 3 credit bureaus did not show my evictions. My last one is nearing 6 years old. Does it fall off of credit report after a time period?

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Most negative information can be reported for seven years.

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