How Does an Eviction Affect My Credit?



An eviction typically occurs when a tenant violates the terms of their lease. Violations of the lease can include things like =when a tenant fails to pay rent or keeps an unauthorized pet on the property. You may wonder if an eviction can find its way onto a credit report and if it does, how your credit could be damaged. We’ll go over the types of evictions and what they can potentially do to a credit report.

4 Types of Evictions

Evictions are categorized by the type of reason behind the eviction. Before the tenant has to move out, most places require the landlord give written notice appropriate for the type of eviction. The form of the notice varies by state, however, and the amount of notice (days to respond or move) also varies.

  1. Failure to Pay Rent

In this type of eviction, the tenant will usually receive a Notice to Pay or Quit. Once they receive this notice, a tenant has a certain period of time, as regulated by the state (usually three to five days), to catch up with their payments or vacate the premises.

  1. Violating Terms of The Lease

If a tenant receives a Cure or Quit Notice for violating the lease, they’ve likely done something they specifically agreed not to do when they moved in, such as having a pet on the property, excessive noise or letting someone else move in without getting permission. In this case, the tenant is given a certain amount of time (designated by the landlord) to fix the problem and return to compliance with the lease, or face an eviction.

  1. Destructive or Unlawful Behavior

Excessive damage to the property or conducting illegal activity on the property is typically behaviors the tenant engaged in to land themselves in this situation, likely receiving an Unconditional Quit Notice from their landlord. This notice will tell the tenant they must leave within a certain time without an opportunity to fix the problem.

  1. No Cause

This mostly happens in cases where the landlord wants you to move out when you have a month to month lease. They don’t have to give you a reason; as long as they aren’t discriminating, it’s typically legal. In rent controlled situations, the landlord must have just cause. In no cause cases, the landlord will issue a 30- or 60-day Notice to Vacate.

How an Eviction Can Appear on Your Credit Reports

Just because you were sent an eviction notice does not mean that it will be reported on your credit reports. It’s usually only when you don’t heed the notice to pay up or cure the deficiency that you can be taken to court. Once you are taken to court and sued, if the landlord wins their case, you will have a judgment entered in against you and this judgment can find its way to your credit report.

A judgment is a very serious credit negative, and stays on your credit report for seven years, even if you’ve paid it off. A prospective employer or potential landlord may review a version of your credit reports and see the judgment.

If You Have an Eviction on Your Credit Report

To offset the damaging effects, start rebuilding credit by paying down your debts, keeping your balances low and limiting your credit inquiries. If you find yourself needing some help with your eviction judgment, it may be a good time to hire a credit repair professional.