Is It Possible to Get an Eviction Expunged?
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed October 14, 2019
Getting a landlord to sign a lease while having an eviction on your record can be very hard. An eviction will show up on your record as soon as your landlord files the eviction and will stay there unless you take action to expunge it.
This article addresses what an eviction expungement is and the procedures you need to follow to get your eviction record expunged.
Will the Eviction Still Be on My Record If I Settled My Case with My Landlord?
Yes. Unless you get your eviction expunged, anyone will be able to see it even if you have paid your debt and settled with the landlord. In most states, an eviction will stay on your record for seven years.
What Is Eviction Expungement?
An eviction expungement is a process whereby the judge seals your eviction record. Once your record is expunged, no one will be able to access it. The court may expunge your case if it finds it is in the interest of justice and that there is no need for landlords to know about your prior eviction.
Do I Need a Hearing to Get an Expungement?
It depends. A few states will grant your expungement request without a hearing if you have a settlement agreement with your landlord. A settlement agreement is a written statement by your landlord agreeing to the expungement.
My Landlord Will Not Agree to a Settlement. What Can I Do?
If your landlord will not agree to a settlement, another option you have is to seek expungement through a motion. Check your state's laws to see if you need to bring additional documents. In Minnesota, for instance, you can bring an affidavit supporting your motion. You will also likely need to pay a fee unless you qualify for a waiver.
The court will consider multiple factors when deciding on your motion. These include:
- Whether you have paid all the debts owed to the landlord
- Whether granting expungement is in the interest of justice
- Whether you won the eviction case or whether it was dismissed
- Whether the benefit of your expungement is greater than the harm it might inflict on the public.
You should note that expungement is not guaranteed since judges have broad discretion on expungement cases.
States Have Different Procedures
Even though basic procedures to get your eviction expunged are similar, you still need to do your research to know the laws in your state before you start the process. For instance, the Minnesota Courts website offers useful resources on specific expungement requirements in Minnesota.
Get an Attorney to Help with the Expungement Process
Getting housing with an eviction on your record can be very difficult. If you are trying to get your eviction expunged or want to know more about the process, speak to a landlord and tenant attorney.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.