Moving on after an eviction

Moving On After An Eviction

Eviction notice

An eviction notice is a written statement informing you the landlord believes that you are in violation of the rental agreement. Eviction processes vary by state. Depending on why you’re being evicted, type of notice received and the state you reside, you may need to vacate the property by a certain time. But if you have an eviction notice in your past, you might be worried about getting approved for a new rental situation.

Much has been written about how to avoid an eviction. CNBC spoke with experts about how families can get back on their feet after experiencing one. Meanwhile, millions of Americans continue to report being behind on their rent and could soon be at risk of getting pushed out of their homes. Although government intervention has helped the U.S. avoid the scariest predictions for the possible number of pandemic-related evictions, hundreds of thousands of families still found notices on their doors.

The consequences of an eviction can be severe and long-lasting, experts say. Here are some steps you can take to get back on your feet:

Try to protect your record


Past evictions can make it hard for people to secure new housing, said Ariel Nelson, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “Some landlords automatically deny applications based on eviction records regardless of outcome or context,” Nelson said.

If you’ve been evicted from an apartment or rental home, it may be difficult to qualify for a new rental if a potential landlord checks your rental history. If you have an eviction hampering your ability to find a place to live, you have a few options:

  • Try to find a private landlord who doesn’t use screening services or check credit history
  • Look into reporting any rent that you’re paying – it could help your credit score
  • Try negotiating with a potential landlord by offering a large security deposit or several months of rent up front
  • Find a cosigner with good credit to live with
  • Live with friends who already have a home and history of good payments.

Try to make amends


If you were evicted for unpaid rent, the best way to make amends is to reach out to your former landlord or collection agency and make up those missed payments. Doing so could make finding a new place easier, especially if you get proof in writing that you made good on the old debts.

Communicate with prospective landlords

Landlord and tenant

If a prospective landlord has rejected your rental application based on information in a tenant screening report, they’re required to inform you of this “adverse action”, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If your rental application has been denied, it may be worth trying to speak with the landlord about your history, Nelson said. She further added that, “It can be effective for the prospective tenant to send a letter to the landlord along with the application explaining the context surrounding any eviction records and providing information about their positive history as a renter”.

You may also want to make the case for why you won’t fall behind with a new landlord, “if the past eviction was for non-payment of rent, the applicant should be able to show that her income has stabilized or significantly increased or that the amount of rent for which she will be responsible is much lower”. She added.

Keep an eye on your credit

Moving on after an eviction

Even if you do everything you’re supposed to do, when you live in someone else’s property, keep in mind that you might have to move unexpectedly. A landlord could potentially sell their property, or you could decide that the landlord isn’t someone you want to rent from anymore. For example, keeping an eye on your credit regularly helps you improve your score, which can help you secure a new rental property as needed.

Summarily, it’s unlikely a surprise to anyone who has faced an eviction; losing your home can be traumatic. A growing body of research finds evictions impact people’s mental health in a number of ways, including increasing their risk for depression, anxiety and insomnia.

Although an eviction can damage your rental history and credit score, you can recover from it. It won’t happen overnight. But if you follow some of the steps listed above, you can repair your credit score, rebuild your rental history, and find another place to rent. Once you find a new place to rent, try your best to pay your rent on time and abide by all the rules of your leasing agreement.

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