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Evaluating various scenarios. United Kingdom.

One of the potential option is:

  • do not pay rent
  • landlord gives notice
  • court
  • eviction

Will tenants being evicted get a criminal record that will interfere with most of the job requirements?


When searching Google, most information was about criminal record for rogue landlords:

Eviction without obtaining a court order is a criminal offence

What about criminal record for evictees?

Alternatively, if there are any other negative consequences outside criminal record please state them in the answer.

RANDOM / FUNNY FACT:

enter image description here

(it appears it is a serious matter)

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Being Evicted Is Not A Crime

It is not a crime to be evicted. So, you will not get a criminal record if you fail to pay your rent and are evicted. Failing to pay rent is merely a breach of contract, and eviction is a remedy for this breach of contract.

Damage To Your Credit Rating

Being evicted will absolutely hurt your credit rating, however.

In the U.S., a bad credit rating can be considered by prospective employers and for many other purposes (e.g. as grounds to charge you higher insurance premiums, or to refuse to rent property to you, or to refuse to extend you credit).

I am not familiar with all of the purposes for which a credit rating may be legally used in the U.K. and that would probably need to be the subject of a separate question in any case. At a minimum, a bad credit rating makes it harder to get loans in the future. For example, an eviction could result in your application for a mortgage when you want to buy a house being denied, or could cause you to pay a much higher interest rate on a car loan.

Other Negative Consequences Of An Eviction

There are other negative consequences of being evicted in addition to harm to your credit rating, which may seem obvious but also bear mentioning.

These consequences are all very good reasons to voluntarily leave the premises from which your landlord is trying to evict you and to move to a new residence of some kind before a court order evicting you is carried out if it is at all possible to do so.

Homelessness

First, if you don't have a place to live immediately, when you are evicted, you become homeless and being homeless is not a good thing. The U.K. has a decent safety net, so eventually you may be able to find public housing if you are evicted, but that often doesn't happen immediately, and in the meantime, you are literally on the street.

Even if you can't find any place else that you can afford to rent, you can try to find friends and family that can take you in temporarily, attempt to locate places you can legally camp for a while, and can save up enough money to pay for a motel for a few days at least while you are looking for alternative places to live.

Your Stuff Is Tossed On The Street

Second, if your stuff is in the property you are being evicted from, then when you are evicted, your stuff will be tossed out on the street and in all likelihood it will be damaged or stolen or otherwise lost.

Among the things that can be lost or damaged in an eviction are documents that you need which are hard to replace like birth certificates, passports, professional licenses, college applications, report cards for children, health records, financial records, family photos, immigration documents, etc.

Even if you can't afford to rent a new place, you can avoid this harm to your property by putting as much of it as you can in a storage unit. At a minimum, try to find some place (maybe friends or family or work) where you can store your most valuable property before you are evicted.

Lost Security Deposits And Money Damages

Third, if you are evicted, you will almost certainly lose your security deposit and will probably also have a money judgment entered against you by the landlord for any amounts owed to the landlord for damage to the property, back rent, late fees, interest, lost rent while the property is rerented, attorneys' fees, court costs, etc. to the extent that it exceeds the security deposit which it usually will. This money judgment will further hurt your credit rating and could cause your wages and bank accounts to be garnished and your cars and/or other personal property to be seized to collect this debt.

Usually people are evicted because they can't afford to pay rent, so there are limits to what you can do to prevent this, but at a minimum, try not to damage the premises which can result in additional amounts owed.

Disruption Of Postal Service

Fourth, until you can get change of address arrangements made, you will not receive any postal service, including bills you owe on loans and credit cards (or even worse, demands to respond to small claims court lawsuits up to 100,000 pounds). Failing to pay these bills or to respond to notices can lead to more damage to your credit, late payment penalties, default judgments in court cases, and other problems like disrupted efforts to apply to universities or to meet requirements to obtain scholarships.

You can avoid this by obtaining a post office box and redirecting your mail there before you vacate the premises.

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  • Thank you for the comprehensive answer. The other day I was meditating the economic rationale of becoming homeless and the conclusion was - it doesn't pay off. It made me realize that the first expenditure would be a new laptop, with a longer battery life, preferably USB-C so I could charge from battery pack :) No crime or criminal record - crowds rejoice! – Figuring things out Aug 3 '17 at 10:31
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    A search for prior CCJs is a standard part of the process of vetting new tenants, so having a CCJ for non-payment of rent will make it very difficult to rent in future, at least from a reputable landlord. – Steve Melnikoff Aug 3 '17 at 13:14
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    As @AndyT says, your stuff will not be chucked out on the street. But anything you leave behind will be removed by the landlord. IIRC, the landlord is required to make reasonable efforts to return it to the former tenant; but if that doesn't work out, the landlord is free to dispose of it. – Steve Melnikoff Aug 3 '17 at 13:16
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    @SteveMelnikoff The assumption behind getting a PO Box is that you don't have a new address to redirect your mail to, at least not right away, on account of being homeless and not being able to find a reputable landlord to rent from going forward on account of the CCJ against you. – ohwilleke Aug 3 '17 at 13:19
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    So the bailiffs apparently can put your belongings outside, but if you leave them behind the landlord has to keep them safe? Seems a bit contradictory to me, belongings in the street aren't safe. In the TV show the bailiffs left the belongings inside and arranged a date in the next week for collection. This may depend on eviction type: the bailiff might turn up on a specified date, or they might turn up unannounced. If unannounced it seems unlikely they could expect you to be prepared for them to put it all on the street. – AndyT Aug 3 '17 at 14:33

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