Cleaning an Eviction Off Your Record

September 6, 2016

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When a landlord wants a tenant to move out of an apartment, he or she must file an eviction action at court. 

An eviction action is what people sometimes call a UD. Landlords file eviction actions against renters if the renter broke a rule in the lease, did not pay rent, or stayed in the apartment after the landlord gave them a written notice to leave. Many evictions end in renters having to move.

New landlords can start seeing the record of an eviction action as soon as a landlord files it with the court. After court, the eviction action stays on a tenant’s record. Most landlords will not rent to renters who have any evictions on their records.

Sometimes, there is a way to remove evictions from a tenant’s record.

This is called “expungement.” If your eviction case is “expunged” or sealed, then a new landlord cannot find a record of the eviction. You can get expungement papers at the courthouse where the landlord filed the eviction.

In your papers, you will have to answer three questions:

  1. Did the landlord have a good reason to evict you?
  2. Why is it fair to seal the case?
  3. Why don’t other people need to know about this eviction?

Once you give all the completed paperwork to the court clerk, you will get a date to see a judge.  At your court date, the judge may ask you some questions.

Be prepared for answering the following kinds of questions:

  • Did the landlord have a good reason to evict you?
  • Do you owe the landlord any money?
  • Is this the only eviction on your record?

For more information, visit www.lawhelpmn.org, or call SMRLS at 651-222-4731. SMRLS holds a walk-in expungement clinic from noon-3 p.m. the first Friday of every month at the Rondo Outreach Library, located at 461 Dale Street North, St. Paul, MN 55104.

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