Common Questions and Answers Regarding Housing Expungement
Every time an eviction action is filed against you, it shows up on your record and makes it difficult for you to obtain housing, even if the action was ultimately dismissed.
The Magna Law Firm represents individuals seeking to have their eviction record expunged because an eviction on their record is preventing them from obtaining affordable housing.
Below is a list of common questions we receive regarding eviction expungements and answers to those questions.
What Does it Mean to Have my Eviction Record Expunged?
Expungement in this context simply means that the eviction on your housing record is hidden from public view. If you are successful in getting your eviction case expunged, then someone searching your housing history will not be able find your eviction record. Evictions used to be called “unlawful detainers” (UDs) so your housing history may show that you have a “UD” but UDs and evictions are the same thing.
What Do I Have to Show for a Court to Consider Expunging my Eviction Record?
Minnesota law lists the things that you must show for a court to even consider expunging your eviction. Keep in mind that even if you demonstrate everything that the law requires, the court still has the ability to say yes or no to your expungement request. There are very few circumstances under which a court is required to grant your expungement request.
You can request that the court expunge your eviction under one or more of the following grounds: The Court’s inherent authority, statutory or mandatory authority. Depending upon your situation, you can ask for expungement based upon one more of these types
Under this type, the court may expunge your record if you can demonstrate two things: (1) that the expungement is necessary to the performance of a judicial function; and (2) the benefits of expungement to you are equal to or greater than any harm to the public from not being able to see the case and any work the court has to do to expunge the case.
Under this type, the court may expunge your record if you can demonstrate: (1) that the landlord’s case against you was without sufficient basis in fact or in law which may include lack of jurisdiction over the case; (2) the expungement is clearly in the interests of justice; and (3) those interests are not outweighed by the public’s interests in knowing about the record.
Under this type, the court must expunge your eviction record if you can show that:
- The property you were renting at was in foreclosure or contract for deed cancellation;
- The eviction case against you was only about you staying at the property too long as opposed to non-payment of rent or breaking your lease and at least one of the following is true:
- The foreclosure redemption period or time for contract cancellation is over. You moved out before the eviction case was served.
- You were a tenant during the foreclosure redemption period or contract cancellation period. Your lease began after the landlord’s mortgage or contract for deed began. You were not given proper notice to end your lease, or you were given proper notice to end your lease, but the eviction case started before the date the notice said you needed to move.
Regarding notice, in foreclosure cases, a minimum of 90 days’ notice is required. In contract for deed cases, 12 months’ notice is required.
When asking for an eviction expungement, it also important for the court to know the specific reasons why the eviction action was brought against you, and how specifically the eviction record is making it difficult for you to obtain affordable housing.
What are the Best Cases for Eviction Expungement?
The best cases to seek eviction expungement on are cases where:
- You beat the eviction case against you, by either getting the case dismissed or winning at trial.
- You moved before the eviction case was served.
- The case settled and you did everything that the settlement agreement instructed you to do.
Can I Seek an Eviction Expungement Even if Owe my Landlord Back Rent?
You can but you shouldn’t. The best course is to wait until after you have paid the landlord to seek expungement. However, if your current situation is especially dire, the judge may grant your expungement request even if you still owe your landlord money.