The Other Half of Homeless: Consequences of Eviction

First and foremost, eviction means you have to find a new place to live, and that fact usually pushes all other issue aside. But what else happens when someone’s evicted? These are some of the possible consequences:

You may find it difficult to rent again

Most landlords run credit and background checks before signing a new tenant, and your eviction history will come up. If you’re serious about renting a new place, it might be best to tell your potential landlord about your renting history upfront, explaining what happened and why it won’t happen again.

If you do find a place, your deposit might be larger, or you may need a co-signer

Because you’re perceived as a riskier tenant, a landlord might require a larger-than-usual deposit or a co-signer as insurance against losing money on your lease. Before you rent again, budget for a large deposit and make sure you have someone willing to co-sign, just in case.

Your credit score can take a hit

Often, an eviction will affect a person’s credit rating. The concrete result of that would be difficulty in qualifying for credit cards, or, for select fields, gaining new employment (not generally an issue, but for positions like law enforcement). If your credit declines after eviction, try to build it back up in other ways.

You might have to go to court

This could happen if your landlord wins a monetary judgment from you, most likely in an eviction for non-payment of rent. In such a case, you could be called into court more than once to testify about your finances (i.e. your ability to pay back what you owe). Even if you can’t pay, you have to show up.

Clearly, you should avoid these consequences if at all possible. If you think you’re likely to be evicted but it hasn’t yet happened, there are some ways to deal with the issue ahead of time to sidestep that worst-case scenario. Your landlord doesn’t want to deal with the messy and expensive business of kicking you out, either. If you have already been evicted from an apartment, knowing these possible results can at least keep you from being blindsided by an unforeseen issue.

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