Minnesota Legislators Propose Bill to Remove Eviction Records
Minnesota lawmakers are considering a bill that would erase eviction records in certain circumstances. In particular, the bill would restrict access to eviction records for cases that do not result in an eviction judgment against the tenant and for eviction judgments that are more than three years old. The bill would also automatically expunge a tenant’s record if the eviction settled or was dismissed, which is a departure from the current expungement process.
The bill is intended to minimize stigma landlords place on tenants with a prior eviction. Lawmakers who introduced the bill also say eviction expungement is costly and time consuming, so this would offer a second chance to some tenants. Supporters claim that bad tenants, tenants with evictions resulting in formal judgment, will not be protected under the new bill.
Opponents counter that, while the legislators who are pushing the bill want to help tenants find housing, this bill is only a short-term solution. Because evictions often occur when a tenant cannot pay rent, the problem will not be solved by restricting access to eviction records. The bill’s opponents further state that the opportunity to erase eviction records will negatively impact landlords, as eviction records are an important piece of information used to evaluate applicants. Additionally, opponents claim that prior evictions are rarely the sole reason for denying a potential tenant—other factors such as credit history, criminal records, or income play a large part as well.
The bill, which is wrapped into a larger housing bill, has passed the Minnesota House and moved to the Senate. The attorneys at Wilkerson & Hegna have considerable experience helping landlords and tenants in the negotiation and enforcement of commercial and residential leases. From lease drafting to tenant evictions, we are able to assist with a wide variety of landlord-tenant issues that may arise.
Originally published at: http://www.startribune.com/dfl-lawmakers-want-tenants-to-escape-stigma-of-eviction-record/509966702/