A few weeks back, I wrote about a senate bill intended to seal eviction records. A similar measure was filed as HB2299. NPR is reporting that the measure has passed out of committee. This is a dangerous proposition for landlords. As NPR reported, proponents of the measure have indicated that while they acknowledge that landlords want to screen tenants, they do not believe that an eviction filing correlates to a person’s ability to be a good tenant. Huh?
The article cites a report reviewing eviction cases filed in 2016 indicated that of approximately 57,000 eviction cases, only half ended up in actual evictions. These figures are probably true. Many landlords do not obtain eviction orders. That’s because they cut deals with tenants and enter into settlements for the tenant to voluntarily leave. There is a certain arbitrage in eviction court where a tenant can offer to leave a property in a shorter amount of time than it would take a landlord to go through the process. Many landlords avail themselves of those offers. That doesn’t, however, mean that the tenant would not have eventually been evicted.
Landlords need to talk to their senators and representatives to stop these measures from being passed into law.