When screening a prospective tenant, there are times that an eviction action is disclosed on a rental application. LandLordStation.com offers an optional service that provides a search of eviction records. We recommend that you do a search of the state in which the eviction took place and a search of at least two other states in which the potential tenant has lived.
It is a good idea to review the details of any eviction record because, although the most frequent reason for an eviction is failure to pay rent, there are other times eviction notices are filed and the tenant wins the court case. One of the benefits of using LandLordStation.com for tenant screening is that you not only find eviction records, but you are able to view the details of the eviction.
A court can dismiss an eviction case for a variety of reasons. If a tenant with a disability asserts the right to make reasonable changes to the premises under the provisions of the Fair Housing Act and the landlord refuses and files an eviction action, the tenant would prevail in court. A domestic violence survivor can legally break a lease in many states. If a landlord files for eviction, the court would dismiss that case. Without examining the case, you would not have a complete picture of the tenant’s performance.
Another instance of a recorded eviction record not providing an accurate picture of a prospective tenant is the case of a landlord foreclosure. When the lender forecloses on a rental property, the tenant may be evicted as a matter of course. The tenant now has an eviction on his record but did nothing that would make him an undesirable tenant.
Eviction records can come back with a notation of “possible matches”. The first thing for you to do is check and see if it is a match with any address the prospective tenant has lived at before. The system checks for all known addresses for the applicant and will label those as matches. If the eviction in the report does not match any previously known address, then it is likely that this is not a match for the applicant. LandLordStation.com includes these in the eviction report because, in some cases, not all of the previous addresses of an applicant are known. You might wish to cross reference the eviction address with any other addresses that the applicant has provided. You might find eviction records that are incorrect because the national records the government files on eviction records are done by name and not by social security number. If you think the eviction might be erroneous, LandLordStation will have it rechecked and either clear the eviction or confirm it for you.
A small number of states have a Fair Tenant Screening Act, like Washington state, that sets out what searches can be performed and states what information must be disclosed to the prospective tenant. In addition, these acts provide that the applicant be allowed to correct any data that is incorrect or incomplete insofar as eviction records are concerned. LandLordStation.com provides the best possible accuracy in the search to find eviction records in the tenant screening process.
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