Tenant Screening - Eviction Records
David Borden - July 2, 2015
Other than credit history, this is the most important item to check. Unfortunately the data on eviction history is not very good. Most landlords and property management don’t report eviction activity. Also, most non-paying tenants do not go all the way through the eviction process before leaving the property, so it will not generate a public record. If your applicant has an eviction on their record, DO NOT RENT TO THEM. This is the single best indicator that they will default again. If someone goes all the way through the court proceedings, and actually has an eviction filed, they are not an awful risk.
A full eviction proceeding means that they forced the landlord to make court appearances, hire attorneys, and get the local sheriff involved. 95% of non-paying tenants will not make it to the full eviction. They will voluntarily vacate the property when they see that their removal is imminent. Those that stay to the bitter end are a special kind of bad tenant. Tenants that are familiar with the eviction process will know just how long they can stay for free before being forced to move, and are probably preying on landlords. Evictions often end up in foreclosure for the landlord.
Don’t do it.