Getting evicted from your apartment can be an embarrassing and frustrating experience. Don’t panic! With the right plan of action, you can recover from an eviction in your rental history and find a great apartment.
Before we go further, let’s be clear about what an eviction is. Simply put, an eviction happens when a landlord goes to court to force a tenant out of the rental space for reasons specified in the lease. If a tenant loses an eviction case, this will be reflected in court records that are available to the public.
Here are eight pointers on how to rent an apartment after an eviction. This advice was gathered from American Hope Resources, an organization that helps people experiencing financial trouble; Experian, a credit-reporting bureau; and Realtor.com, a website for homebuyers.
If you’ve got a previous eviction, many owners and managers will refuse to rent an apartment to you. Don’t take it personally—they’re simply following their policies and trying to weed out potential tenants who they view as too risky.
In some cases, a landlord that evicted you might be open to erasing an eviction if you pay any money that’s owed and settle any lingering disputes. If you are on good terms, he may also provide a convincing recommendation to your new landlord.
Some landlords are willing to overlook previous evictions. An apartment-locating service will typically know who these landlords are and direct you to them. You also can ask relatives, friends, and coworkers for recommendations.
If you don’t use an apartment locator, then you can search on your own for owners and managers that have looser requirements regarding evictions. These landlords might need proof of income or employment, a bigger monthly payment, or a larger deposit in exchange for ignoring a previous eviction.
Keep in mind that a private owner might care less about a previous eviction than a professionally owned and managed apartment complex does.
Solid references can help you get a job. They can also help you rent an apartment following an eviction. Previous landlords or past employers are good sources for referrals that can demonstrate you’re a responsible, trustworthy person.
If someone you know has a good rental and credit history, you might be able to persuade them to co-sign the lease for a new apartment. Of course, the co-signer will have to cover the rent if you’re unable to do so. Be careful with this! If the co-signer isn’t able make rental payments, you could wind up evicted again.
Your credit reports won’t show an eviction, but they might indicate that a bill collector went after you for unpaid rent or that a court judgment was issued after you broke your lease. Landlords and property management companies typically conduct a review through a tenant screening or background investigative service that will provide them with eviction information.
Wherever your apartment search takes you, don’t lie about a previous eviction. If you’re asked about it on an application or in person, be truthful and explain the circumstances that led to the eviction. If you’re caught in a lie, it’s almost guaranteed that a landlord won’t rent to you.
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