How Will An Eviction Impact Your Future Ability to Rent?
Did you know that getting almost-evicted might stop you from being able to get a new car? That’s right–not only do eviction proceedings impact your future rentals, but also your credit history! It will haunt you when you’re getting a loan, mortgage, or credit card for at least the next 7 years. It doesn’t even have to push through completely, any eviction process started against you–even if you later settle your debt with your landlord–will stain your rental and credit history long-term.
The only solution: Pay your rent in full and on-time. If you can’t pay your rent, then approach your landlord to ask for payment plans. The worst thing you can do is to turn a blind eye to paying rent–especially during this pandemic, where financial instability is something we’re all experiencing. It’s no shame to communicate with your landlord and agree on a payment plan immediately. See this article: How to Come Up with a Payment Plan and Agree It with Your Landlord (link) for tips to help you do this.
But, if you do nothing and let your landlord begin eviction proceedings against you, it becomes a matter of public record. This will immediately impact your future chances of getting another rental or loan, for a few reasons:
- Tenant Screening
Good landlords will always screen potential tenants thoroughly. That means they will communications with your former landlords, pull public records, credit history, etc., and see the evictions filed against you.
If you have a history of eviction proceedings, regardless of the reason, then be prepared to explain the circumstances to any potential landlord with full details and documentation. Because, trust us, they have heard all the stories before.
Want to show them that you didn’t pay rent because your previous landlord refused to make essential repairs? This is something a lot of people claim, but can’t prove. So you better have evidence to back it up, otherwise landlords will simply not accept this (or anything else) as an excuse.
If you are able to find a landlord who doesn’t screen tenants thoroughly, so they don’t catch your eviction history, then it’s probably not a good landlord. Do you really want to live somewhere where the property owner is so lax in managing their rental? What do you think they’ll do when you call them one day, asking them to fix something that’s broken?
- Credit Checks
It’s the same for other industries that need to check your credit history. They will see the court records of your past eviction proceedings, and will grill you about it before approving you for a loan, whether it be a car loan, mortgage, or unsecured credit card.
Why do lenders care about evictions? Because they establish a worrying history of failing to meet your financial obligations, and so are seen as pretty much the same as having a court-ordered debt collection process initiated against you.
Again, this is true even if you later settle the debt with your landlord and are able to avoid eviction.
A Possible Scenario
As we’ve said, the best course for tenants to take is to avoid eviction altogether. Most states allow landlords to give an eviction notice for non-payment, and state governments each mandate a deadline for payment (either in full or partially) for the tenants to avoid removal once this notice has been served. It’s seven days for Michigan, three for California, and in other states, just one.
If the tenant still doesn’t pay, then the landlord will take them to court on the day after the deadline to get an eviction court date. Just two weeks after missing your rent, and it’s goodbye to your immaculate rental and credit records.
The entire eviction process itself takes a little longer (and is a massive headache to landlords), but it will not stop until the outstanding balance is paid in full. Most tenants won’t show up in court and will only act once the Writ of Eviction is posted, but by this time, the damage to your credit history is already irreparable. Requesting for a payment plan at that time is still possible, but landlords will require it to be written in detail, with payment dates, amounts, and income all accounted for (and if you don’t have much income to show, the plan won’t be agreed).
Even if you don’t get evicted, just proceedings being started are a matter of public record and will impact your future rentals and credit score. You won’t get the nicest properties, the best landlords, or that truck you’ve always wanted. Your best bet is to avoid getting evicted in the first place, by proactively communicating with your landlord before you fall behind on your rent.
But if you already have some stains on your rental record, the next best thing is to be prepared with an honest, detailed, well-documented explanation, in order to prove that you can now commit to being a responsible tenant.
Any experience with evictions hanging over your head? Let us know if you found this information useful.
Image Courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio