If you’re a renter, then you’ve heard the term eviction — the process when a landlord removes a tenant from the rental property for failure to comply with the lease agreement. Evictions can happen for several reasons but the most common reasons a renter will be evicted are:
- Failure to pay rent on time or repeated late payments
- Disruption to other tenants
- Illegal activity
- Damage to the property
Neither the landlord nor the renter wants to see an eviction on a rental application or background checks. Landlords see evictions as a red flag because they indicate that a renter did not follow through with their end of the lease.
Landlords take a chance on their renters and want to make sure they rent properties to people who will pay on time, keep the apartment clean and in working condition and be a good neighbor. When an eviction appears on a rental application, it can make landlords wary and deter them from renting to people.
Renters do not want an eviction on their record because it makes it difficult to find a new place to live and get a landlord to trust that you’ll be a good candidate to whom to rent. Evictions are a red flag for both parties.
So, how do you go about renting after eviction? Well, one of the first steps to take is writing a sample letter explaining eviction. We’ll walk you through when and how to write a sample letter explaining eviction and include a template in case you find yourself in this situation.
When to write a letter explaining an eviction
If you’ve been evicted and are trying to rent after an eviction, then you should write a letter explaining your eviction to your future landlord. Regardless of the reason, a letter explaining an eviction can go a long way with a prospective property manager because it shows that you’re willing to put in extra effort to be honest about your past and show who you really are.
As you’re submitting a rental application for a new place, you can attach your letter to the rental application. That way, the landlord has all your information to begin with. Think of it this way — landlords see hundreds of rental applications where the tenant has filled in the basic required information. However, a hand-written (or typed) letter explaining your eviction can help tell your story and humanize your application in a way that checkboxes cannot.
How to write a letter explaining an eviction
So, how do you go about writing a letter explaining an eviction? While it can seem scary to explain your history in a short letter, it doesn’t need to be. These letters should be sincere, direct and honest. Remember, your goal with writing this letter is to appeal to the future landlord, show them you care, tell them about yourself and convince them that you’ll be a great renter whom they can trust. Here are some things to include in your letter:
1. State who you are
Briefly write about who you are and why you’re a good candidate to consider.
2. Talk about why you want to live in this apartment
Include concrete details about why this specific apartment complex appeals to you. When you share why this apartment complex interests you, it shows that you’ve done your research.
3. Be honest about your eviction
Evictions happen. You don’t want to lie about it or try to sugarcoat what happened. In this case, honesty is the best policy. You can tell your future landlord about the circumstances leading up to the eviction and what happened.
4. Explain your plan of action as a renter after an eviction
Landlords need to know that you’ll be a good bet so you’ll want to explain how you’ve changed and what your plan is to avoid the same scenario that happened before to cause the first eviction. Explain how you’ll do things differently to ensure that you’re worth taking a chance on.
5. Show them you care
Be sincere and show them that you care about earning their trust and being a good tenant. At the core, landlords just want to rent to people who will pay their rent on time, keep the apartment in mint condition and follow the terms of their lease.
Keep in mind that your rental application itself will include standard information like name, address, work history and income. While you can gloss over these things, use the letter to really show your landlord who you are beyond the paper application. This is your chance to stand out among other rental candidates who do not have an eviction on their record.
Sample letter explaining an eviction
Now that we’ve talked about renting after an eviction and the main benefits of writing a letter explaining eviction, here is a sample letter template to help you create your document. Simply download this letter and update everything in parentheses ( ) based on your situation.
Eviction letter template
(CITY, STATE POSTAL CODE)
(LANDLORD OR MANAGEMENT NAME)
(LANDLORD OR MANAGEMENT ADDRESS)
(CITY, STATE POSTAL CODE)
Re: Prior Eviction on My Rental Record
Dear (LANDLORD OR MANAGEMENT NAME),
My name is (INSERT NAME) and I’m a prospective tenant hoping to rent at (INSERT APARTMENT NAME AND LOCATION). Upon receiving my application, you’ll notice that I’ve had a past eviction. I wanted to bring this to your attention immediately as I know that evictions are a red flag for landlords. My hope is that this letter will show you who I am and help you truly see me as the great tenant that I can be.
I was evicted because (INSERT REASON). While I can’t change what happened in the past, I am actively working and taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again. I have done (INSERT 2-3 THINGS YOU’VE DONE TO AVOID EVICTION AGAIN).
Because I’ve made these changes, I’m hoping that you’ll see me as a candidate that would be a good fit for your apartment complex. I’m eager to live in this apartment complex because (INSERT REASONS).
I am hard-working, responsible and committed to being the type of renter that you’re looking for. I’ll be an ideal tenant who will comply with my lease, pay rent on time and keep my apartment clean and cared for.
Please feel free to reach out to my references (ATTACH ANOTHER DOCUMENT WITH REFERENCES) for a character interview. You can also contact me directly if you need more information. I appreciate your time and consideration.
(YOUR PRINTED NAME)
(YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS)
(YOUR PHONE NUMBER)
Additional tips for renting after an eviction
In addition to writing a letter explaining an eviction, you can do a few other things to improve your chances of renting after an eviction:
- Improve your credit score
- Get a co-signer
- Find the right references
- Pay rent upfront
- Offer to take on additional responsibilities at the apartment property
- Find a private owner
- Rent from apartment complexes that do not require a background check
Whether you try one or all of these tips for renting after eviction, remember that people before you have had evictions and found new places to live. You’re not the first or last person to be evicted. These tips are intended to help you have a leg up on other prospective renters.
Settle down into a new home after eviction
Renting after an eviction is more difficult but it can be done. With sincere effort and diligent research, you can find a new place to live and have a fresh start. Eviction doesn’t need to be a red flag on your background forever. Use the tools and resources you have to explain your history, show the landlord who you are, find a new place to rent and settle into your new home.