Sign up for your free Credit.com account    Sign Up Now
From the Experts at Credit.com

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.


  • http://www.Credit.com/ 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?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ 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.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ 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.

    • http://www.Credit.com/ 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?

    • http://www.Credit.com/ 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.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

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

  • http://www.Credit.com/ 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.

      • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

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

  • http://www.Credit.com/ 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.

  • http://www.Credit.com/ 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


Sign up for your free Credit.com account. Learn More
  • Meet Our Expert

    lucy_lazarony GravatarLucy Lazarony is a freelance personal finance writer. Her articles have been featured on Bankrate, MoneyRates, MSN Money, and The National Endowment for Financial Education. Prior to freelancing, she worked as a staff writer for Bankrate for seven years. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida and spent a summer as an international intern at Richmond, The American International University in London. She lives in South Florida.
  • Stay Connected to Our Experts

    Please submit your email address to get credit & money tips & advice
    from our team of 30+ experts, delivered weekly to your inbox.
X

Start Maximizing Your Credit Today

Credit ReportsGet a FREE personalized credit check-up today.

Get Started – It’s Free!