Having an eviction in your past can make it more difficult to find housing in the future.
Eviction is a legal process where a landlord removes a tenant for breaking their lease agreement. Breaking the lease agreement is called a breach. A breach can be because of nonpayment of rent, repeatedly late payment of rent, having too many people inside the residence, subleasing without permission, damaging the property, having pets where prohibited, or any other conduct that the lease does not allow.
To be evicted, you must first have an eviction hearing. The hearing will be at your local Justice of the Peace court. The judge must decide against you and in favor of your landlord before you can be evicted.
Always go to your hearing. If you do not attend, you almost always lose. If you lose, you will have to move out, pay any rent that you owe, and may have to pay court fees.
However, just having an eviction case can make it harder to find housing. This is true even if you win.
Does an eviction show up on my credit report?
No, but an eviction can still make it difficult to rent in the future. An eviction case is a matter of public record. If an eviction case against you shows up on a public consumer report, any potential landlord may assume you were evicted. This is true even if you won your eviction case.
Also, any rent or court fees you owe may go to collections. This will appear on your credit report for seven years.
Can an eviction make it harder for me to rent in the future?
Yes. Some landlords report to tenant screening services, like Experian's RentBureau or TransUnion's SmartMove. Even though your credit report may not read "eviction", a check with one of these services will reveal your eviction record. If the screening service has incorrect information about your rental history, you should contact them to dispute the information. If someone rejects your lease application because of one of these rental reports, they must give you the name and contact information of the company that made the report.
An eviction will make it difficult to rent in the future. The best way to avoid an eviction is to pay your rent on time and comply with your lease.
How can I avoid an eviction?
If you are worried that you will be unable to pay your rent, talk to your landlord. Try to work out a deal to avoid eviction. Your landlord may be willing to create a payment plan, temporarily lower your rent, accept delayed payments, or otherwise come up with a plan that works for both of you. Attorneys from Legal Aid of Northwest give tips on how to negotiate with your landlord in this video.
You can also look for local agencies and organizations that offer rent payment assistance. This aid is temporary, but it may be enough to help you avoid eviction while you get back on your feet. See the Texas Eviction Diversion Program article for a list of rent assistance programs near you. The Texas Eviction Diversion Program may also help you seal your eviction record so it does not count against you.
Can I expunge my eviction record?
Unfortunately, you cannot expunge evictions from your rental record in Texas. However, if you have an active eviction lawsuit, talk to your landlord about the Texas Eviction Diversion Program. The Texas Eviction Diversion Program can help you pay both future and back rent and can seal the current eviction case on your record. Sealing does not entirely remove the eviction from your record like an expunction does, but it does make it so future landlords will not be able to see it when they do a background search.
The Texas Eviction Diversion Program requires an existing eviction lawsuit and a cooperative landlord to participate. You cannot use the program to seal past eviction judgments or lawsuits.
There may be programs that can help you pay rent and avoid eviction.
Learn how to seal your tenant record and stay in your home during COVID-19.
This article explains eviction, including what it is and what steps you may want to take if you are facing eviction.