New policy will eliminate inactive evictions cases for Hamilton County residents

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 12:52 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - For thousands of Hamilton County residents, a new policy instituted by Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Pavan Parikh may eliminate one obstacle standing in the way of obtaining housing.

Beginning May 2, 2022, the Clerk’s Office online search no longer shows inactive evictions older than three years.

The older eviction cases will not be viewable online, but they remain on file in the Clerk’s Office and are open to the public.

Evictions remain as a stain on a tenant’s record that is nearly impossible to erase — even when the tenant prevailed or made good on the obligations.

This new policy aims to prevent these old eviction cases from hindering tenants from attempting to find new housing.

With older eviction case records removed from the online search, thousands of records, some of which are not accurate or no longer reflect a tenant’s financial situation, will not easily pop up and influence landlords or other screeners.

“Using these old eviction records against a tenant vying for a fresh start only exacerbates the inequality and challenges that people face,” said Parikh. “This policy still allows landlords to properly screen tenants but aims to protect tenants from those landlords or screeners who are trying to take the easy way out.”

Nick DiNardo, managing attorney of the housing practice group at Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati shared this statement, “We are really pleased that the Clerk of Courts has taken an interest in this issue. We often hear from our clients that they are denied new apartments just because an eviction was filed against them in the past, even if it was dismissed, or even if it occurred ten years ago. We think this new policy reaches a proper balance between a tenant’s opportunity to have their rental application judged fairly and a landlord’s right to screen prospective tenants.”

Hamilton County residents seeking legal guidance on eviction, rent escrow, or landlord or tenant rights can call the Hamilton County Municipal Court Help Center at 513-946-5650 or visit this link.

Tenants can visit the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati’s website to learn what legal help may be available to them.

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