Does Eviction Show Up on Background Check? (Notice to Vacate Rule)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | September 14, 2022

Man holding his phone on the right, with the phone’s screen shown on the left, which shows the man leaving a house with a suitcase as another man points him out and holds a key, while the man wonders does eviction show up on background check for a new rental apartment?

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Does eviction show up on background check reports?

Getting evicted can be a frustrating enough experience, especially when you start to consider the long-term effects. But, does the notice to vacate rule mean that all future landlords will see an eviction? What if the eviction was the result of someone else, and through no fault of your own? Does the eviction go on your record?

Although the laws between states vary according to eviction legalities, residents should know that normally, getting evicted won’t necessarily show up on a background check. Certain legal requirements, such as “the notice to vacate the rule,” will prevent this in many cases, but there are still lots of things to consider and laws to understand.

The easiest and quickest way to know whether an eviction will be part of what shows up on a background check, is to learn how to get a background check on yourself first. This way, you’ll be able to see everything a potential landlord will, and if there are any issues, you can begin the process of how to fix your background check report.

What Is a Notice To Vacate? What Does Pending Eviction Mean?

Part of the confusion many individuals have involving evictions is due to the fact that the legal process involving evictions usually requires several steps before the individual is essentially kicked out of the landlord’s property.

Aside from the numerous steps involved in the eviction process, there is also the issue that most eviction, landlord, and tenant laws are state or local laws. This means that they can vary widely from state to state. Although some states will have requirements such as notices spanning several weeks or additional legal proceedings before someone is kicked out, in other states the process can happen much quicker and with little warning.Housing discrimination laws screenshot with yellow arrows pointing to violations and what to do if you think your rights have been violated.
Understanding your local tenant and landlord laws is extremely important, even for reasons beyond being evicted, being aware of your rights as a landlord or tenant is always a good thing.

Notice To Vacate Defined

In many states, receiving a notice to vacate will often be the first official step in the process of evicting an individual from their rental property. Usually, there will be several things that happen before this, such as a tenant becoming delinquent on their rent, violating a lease agreement to the point that the landlord requests that they vacate the property or even less serious reasons like the landlord wanting to perform renovations on the property.

Regardless of the reason, in almost every state, landlords are required to give tenants sufficient notice to vacate the property. This amount of time that they give individuals will vary by state, but in most cases, it is at least several weeks and often in the range of 30-60 days.

For most individuals, a notice to vacate is not something to be especially concerned with. In many cases a notice to vacate will come at the end of the tenant’s lease, essentially notifying them that they will not be able to renew their lease. However, in eviction cases, the notice to vacate becomes slightly more significant.

If the landlord plans to evict the tenant for failing to pay rent or for a similar reason, the notice to vacate acts as the first contact that the tenant was asked to leave. Since many states require landlords to give several eviction notices with a certain amount of notice, the notice to vacate may act as this first legal document that will eventually be a part of the court proceedings.

Pending Eviction Definition (Are Evictions Public Record?)

Opposed to a notice to vacate, which is not necessarily a bad thing, a pending eviction notice is much more serious. Receiving a pending eviction notice means that legal proceedings have begun in the eviction process. This is generally what is sent to a tenant when a landlord files for an eviction with the local court.

Although this is a serious step, there are still a few options available for tenants. The first thing that any individual who has a pending eviction should do is contact an attorney that specializes in tenant law. The lawyer will not only be able to help you understand the process but also properly explain the options available under local and state law. In a best-case scenario, a lawyer can prove to the court that eviction is unlawful and stop the proceedings altogether. More likely, however, they will be able to extend the process and give you a chance to make other arrangements such as come up with the rent money that is owed.

Public notice asking if someone is a victim of housing discrimination and explaining that fair housing is a right, using yellow text on a red background.
The other thing that individuals should do when they learn that they have a pending eviction is to contact the court clerk where the eviction was filed. Court clerks will be able to provide individuals with basic information about their case, such as if a date has been set yet and if they have the option to file an answer to the court about why they should not be evicted.

The reasons that can be used to avoid eviction are often dictated by local laws but explaining financial hardships, or that you are waiting on rental assistance or something similar are common reasons for the court to at least delay the eviction.

Does An Eviction Show Up on a Criminal Background Check?

If an eviction was officially filed with the courts, then the eviction will show up on a criminal background check. Even if the individual is able to avoid eviction, a pending eviction will likely show up on a background check, the same as criminal charges that do not result in convictions often do.

This is why it is so important to take action when receiving a notice to vacate. Understanding the reason that you have asked to vacate the property will usually give a pretty good indication of the possibility of a landlord’s intentions to file an eviction.

Related Reading: What does a background check show for rental properties?

For tenants who are behind on their rent that have been given the notice to vacate, talking to your landlord directly is often a good step to try and avoid an eviction being filed. Although the answer to Does eviction shows up on a background check is yes, a notice to vacate will not show up on a background check.

Do Eviction Notices Show Up on FDLE Background Check? (Does Eviction Notices Show Up on FDLE Background Check?)

The vast majority of criminal history checks will show evictions. Since eviction is when someone is court-ordered to vacate a property, then a criminal background will generally uncover the court documents that show that the individual was evicted.

Do Dismissed Evictions Show Up on Background Checks?

If your landlord filed for an eviction with the local court, it will show up on a background check even if it was later dismissed. This is a similar situation to charges that did not result in convictions appearing on a criminal background check.

Related Reading: How do I do a free rental background check on myself?

Although it will show up on a background check, it will be less likely to impact the possibility of passing the background check.

Do Pending Evictions Show Up on Background Checks?

A pending eviction will show up on a background check. A pending eviction essentially means that a landlord filed for eviction but for one reason or another the court date has not happened yet so the individual has not been officially evicted.

Related Reading: How to pass a background check for an apartment

However, since the documents have already been filed with the court they will appear as part of a background check.

How Do I Find Out If I Have an Eviction on My Record for Free? (Free Eviction Check)

There are two main ways to find out if you have an eviction on your record. The first and the easiest in most cases is to use an online background check service that can return this kind of information. There are tons of online background check companies and many will specialize in tenant-related information such as evictions. Simply perform a background check on yourself using a background check service and eviction-related information should be returned as part of the background check, assuming there eviction-related information was found.

This is the fastest way to determine does an eviction show up on background check reports.

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The other method would be to go through the local courts where the eviction would have been filed in the first place.

Related Reading: Are there any apartments that don’t do background checks for rental?

Eviction notices are considered public information and should be fairly easy to access. Keep in mind that going through the local or state courts will usually require that individuals pay a small search fee.

Step 1: Access the Online Court Record System for Your State

The first step is to identify where court records can be accessed. This can usually be done online, as the vast majority of state court documents are digitized and available in public databases.

New York Court Help screenshot portal with yellow arrows pointing to court locators and how to get court records.
For example, individuals who are looking for eviction records in the state of New York can enter their information into the NY Court website’s e-court system.1

How To Do a Free Rental Background Check on Myself

As mentioned, there are a few different ways to perform a rental background check on yourself and get a more concrete answer to the question: “Does eviction show up on a background check?” that is specific to your circumstances. Keep in mind that every state is slightly different when it comes to evictions.

The laws for how the eviction process works, how the appeals process works, as well as how evictions show up on an individual’s records are all determined by the state.

StateFree Eviction CheckHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take inMotion To Seal Eviction
Alabama (AL)Free Eviction Check AlabamaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in AlabamaMotion To Seal Eviction Alabama
Alaska (AK)Free Eviction Check AlaskaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in AlaskaMotion To Seal Eviction Alaska
Arizona (AZ)Free Eviction Check ArizonaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in ArizonaMotion To Seal Eviction Arizona
Arkansas (AR)Free Eviction Check ArkansasHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in ArkansasMotion To Seal Eviction Arkansas
California (CA)Free Eviction Check CaliforniaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in CaliforniaMotion To Seal Eviction California
Colorado (CO)Free Eviction Check ColoradoHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in ColoradoMotion To Seal Eviction Colorado
Connecticut (CT)Free Eviction Check ConnecticutHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in ConnecticutMotion To Seal Eviction Connecticut
Delaware (DE)Free Eviction Check DelawareHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in DelawareMotion To Seal Eviction Delaware
Florida (FL)Free Eviction Check FloridaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in FloridaMotion To Seal Eviction Florida
Georgia (GA)Free Eviction Check GeorgiaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in GeorgiaMotion To Seal Eviction Georgia
Hawaii (HI)Free Eviction Check HawaiiHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in HawaiiMotion To Seal Eviction Hawaii
Idaho (ID)Free Eviction Check IdahoHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in IdahoMotion To Seal Eviction Idaho
Illinois (IL)Free Eviction Check IllinoisHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in IllinoisMotion To Seal Eviction Illinois
Indiana (IN)Free Eviction Check IndianaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in IndianaMotion To Seal Eviction Indiana
Iowa (IA)Free Eviction Check IowaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in IowaMotion To Seal Eviction Iowa
Kansas (KS)Free Eviction Check KansasHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in KansasMotion To Seal Eviction Kansas
Kentucky (KY)Free Eviction Check KentuckyHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in KentuckyMotion To Seal Eviction Kentucky
Louisiana (LA)Free Eviction Check LouisianaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in LouisianaMotion To Seal Eviction Louisiana
Maine (ME)Free Eviction Check MaineHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in MaineMotion To Seal Eviction Maine
Massachusetts (MA)Free Eviction Check MassachusettsHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in MassachusettsMotion To Seal Eviction Massachusetts
Maryland (MD)Free Eviction Check MarylandHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in MarylandMotion To Seal Eviction Maryland
Michigan (MI)Free Eviction Check MichiganHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in MichiganMotion To Seal Eviction Michigan
Minnesota (MN)Free Eviction Check MinnesotaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in MinnesotaMotion To Seal Eviction Minnesota
Mississippi (MS)Free Eviction Check MississippiHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in MississippiMotion To Seal Eviction Mississippi
Missouri (MO)Free Eviction Check MissouriHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in MissouriMotion To Seal Eviction Missouri
Montana (MN)Free Eviction Check MontanaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in MontanaMotion To Seal Eviction Montana
Nebraska (NE)Free Eviction Check NebraskaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in NebraskaMotion To Seal Eviction Nebraska
Nevada (NV)Free Eviction Check NevadaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in NevadaMotion To Seal Eviction Nevada
New Hampshire (NH)Free Eviction Check New HampshireHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in New HampshireMotion To Seal Eviction New Hampshire
New Jersey (NJ)Free Eviction Check New JerseyHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in New JerseyMotion To Seal Eviction New Jersey
New Mexico (NM)Free Eviction Check New MexicoHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in New MexicoMotion To Seal Eviction New Mexico
New York (NY)Free Eviction Check New YorkHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in New YorkMotion To Seal Eviction New York
North Carolina (NC)Free Eviction Check North CarolinaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in North CarolinaMotion To Seal Eviction North Carolina
North Dakota (ND)Free Eviction Check North DakotaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in North DakotaMotion To Seal Eviction North Dakota
Ohio (OH)Free Eviction Check OhioHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in OhioMotion To Seal Eviction Ohio
Oklahoma (OK)Free Eviction Check OklahomaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in OklahomaMotion To Seal Eviction Oklahoma
Oregon (OR)Free Eviction Check OregonHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in OregonMotion To Seal Eviction Oregon
Pennsylvania (PA)Free Eviction Check PennsylvaniaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in PennsylvaniaMotion To Seal Eviction Pennsylvania
Rhode Island (RI)Free Eviction Check Rhode IslandHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in Rhode IslandMotion To Seal Eviction Rhode Island
South Carolina (SC)Free Eviction Check South CarolinaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in South CarolinaMotion To Seal Eviction South Carolina
South Dakota (SD)Free Eviction Check South DakotaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in South DakotaMotion To Seal Eviction South Dakota
Tennessee (TN)Free Eviction Check TennesseeHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in TennesseeMotion To Seal Eviction Tennessee
Texas (TX)Free Eviction Check TexasHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in TexasMotion To Seal Eviction Texas
Utah (UT)Free Eviction Check UtahHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in UtahMotion To Seal Eviction Utah
Vermont (VT)Free Eviction Check VermontHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in VermontMotion To Seal Eviction Vermont
Virginia (VI)Free Eviction Check VirginiaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in VirginiaMotion To Seal Eviction Virginia
Washington (WA)Free Eviction Check WashingtonHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in WashingtonMotion To Seal Eviction Washington
West Virginia (WV)Free Eviction Check West VirginiaHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in West VirginiaMotion To Seal Eviction West Virginia
Wisconsin (WI)Free Eviction Check WisconsinHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in WisconsinMotion To Seal Eviction Wisconsin
Wyoming  (WY)Free Eviction Check WyomingHow Long Does the Eviction Process Take in WyomingMotion To Seal Eviction Wyoming

How To Rent With an Eviction on Your Record in All 50 States (3 Steps)

Finding a new place to rent with an eviction on your record, however, there are several steps individuals can take to dramatically increase their chances of passing a tenant background check. Most people asking the question: Does eviction show up on background check will be wondering how an eviction will affect their ability to get another rental in the future.

Step 1: Find A Rental Company That Allows People With Evictions on Their Records

The easiest way to get around having an eviction on your record when trying to find a rental is to find a leasing company that is forgiving towards individuals with evictions on their records.

Related Reading: How long does a background check take for a rental?

The same as not every leasing company will have the same requirements for a deposit, income levels, etc. There are leasing companies that will be more forgiving towards an individual who has been evicted.

Step 2: Find a Cosigner

Just like individuals who are applying for an apartment that is slightly out of their budget, having a cosigner will greatly increase your chances of getting approved for an apartment if you have been evicted before. Landlords and leasing companies look at many different factors when determining how risky a potential tenant is so having someone else with a clean eviction record will go a long way.

Step 3: Get The Eviction Expunged or Sealed

Although not always possible, it is definitely worth looking into the possibility of getting an eviction record sealed or expunged through the court that it was filed. This will essentially make the eviction disappear off your record, meaning it won’t be a factor at all when applying for an apartment.

Related Reading: What’s included on a tenant background check?

The possibility of this will depend on the circumstances of the eviction as well as local laws. Use the list above to see if getting an eviction sealed is possible in your state.

How Long Does an Eviction Stay in Your Rental History?

How long an eviction stays on your record will depend on the state, but in most cases, an eviction will only stay on your record for 7 years.

Tenant Screening report for landlords screenshot with yellow arrow pointing to start screening button.

In many cases this can be even shorter depending on the state and if the eviction was justified.

How To Petition The Court to Remove an Eviction (How To Get an Eviction Removed From Your Record)

Whether or not the court can or will remove an eviction from your record will depend largely on state laws. In some states it is much easier than others to get an eviction expunged. There are two main steps individuals should take.

Step 1: Research State Law Regarding Sealing or Expunging Evictions

The first thing to do is see if it is even possible given the local laws. Most states have specific circumstances that need to be met to get any records expunged. Research the laws for your state and see if an expungement is possible.

Step 2: File for an Expungement With The Court Where the Eviction Was Filed

Assuming it is possible in your state, the next step is to follow the process outlined by the court for filing for a motion to seal an eviction. The process will vary drastically, check your local courts website for detailed information on what is needed and how to file.

Related Reading: Does a tenant background check always include social security numbers?

Evictions are stressful enough without the prolonged impact they can have on an individual’s ability to find housing. Getting ahead of any legal issues is extremely important to minimizing the effect on your record, being able to answer questions like, does eviction show up on background check will go a long way in preventing an eviction from affecting your future.

Frequently Asked Questions About Does Eviction Show Up on Background Check Reports?

Does An Eviction Notice Show Up on a Background Check?

Yes, eviction notices are filed through the courts and will show up on most background checks.

What If I Have an Eviction on Record but Never Evicted?

If there is a mistake on your record the best thing to do is to contact the local court to see about fixing your record. If an eviction was filed but later dismissed, this information will still be present on your record. 

Do Evictions Show Up in Different States?

Evictions can show up in different states on a background check if a national background check was performed, rather than a local check.

How Do Landlords Check for Evictions in Other States?

Landlords can perform national criminal background checks instead of local checks in order to find out of state convictions.

How Many Points Does an Eviction Hurt Your Credit Score?

Most evictions will not affect your credit score as evictions are not normally reported to credit agencies.


References

1New York State Unified Court System. (2021). Going to Court. Court Help. Retrieved July 19, 2022, from <https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/goingtocourt/records.shtml>

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