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An eviction can stain your credit record for years

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Having an eviction on your record can hamper your ability to rent again. An eviction stays on your credit report for at least seven years. If a judge expunges it from your record, it can come off sooner.

If you claim unpaid rent as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, that stays on your record for 10 years.

When a landlord wants to evict a tenant, she must first give the tenant an eviction notice explaining the reason for the eviction; what, if anything, the tenant can do in response; and how long the tenant has to respond. For most evictions, the response period is 30 to 60 days. A quick response from the tenant can delay the eviction or even prevent it if the landlord’s grievances are addressed.

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How you handle an eviction is important

If you receive an eviction notice, read it thoroughly and make sure you understand it. If you are still not clear as to why your landlord gave you an eviction notice, ask for clarification. If you do not feel comfortable talking to the landlord, consider consulting an attorney. It is important that you understand why you were given the eviction notice so that you can take steps to correct the problem, if possible.

Sometimes you might do everything in your power to stop an eviction but you get evicted anyway. You do have some options the next time you try to rent a property.

  • Explain the eviction. Most landlords do not automatically let an eviction dissuade them from renting to you, so be honest. When applying to rent a house or apartment, let the landlord know of your eviction and why it happened, especially if you tried unsuccessfully to prevent it. The worst time for a landlord to find out about an eviction is after she has run a credit history.
  • Get a co-signer. Getting a co-signer for the lease is a great way to rent with an eviction on your record. If you fail to pay your rent or damage the property while living there, the co-signer is responsible along with you. Find someone you can trust and who has decent credit as a co-signer. And remember:
  • Offer to pay more money. You can offer to pay additional money to the landlord for renting to you. This can include an additional month’s rent, in addition to the first month’s rent, and a security deposit, which is commonly required of renters. You can also offer to pay a higher security deposit, especially if you were evicted for damaging the property from which you were evicted.

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