Renting after an eviction is more difficult but when you’re prepared it’s a lot easier
Renting after eviction may seem daunting, but it’s not impossible. Yes, getting evicted is a terrible experience to deal with and a frustrating process to handle afterward. It’s something everyone fears and when it happens, you’re left wondering what the process of renting after an eviction is like.
While starting to find a new apartment after getting an eviction notice is a daunting process, it’s not impossible. With the right knowledge and preparedness, renting after eviction will be much easier. Don’t let an eviction weigh you down — we’ve got you covered with useful information so you’ll be renting after an eviction in no time.
Things to do if you’ve been evicted
If you’ve been evicted and are now ready to begin searching for a new space to rent, there are some things you should consider that will help make the process easier. Here are 10 tips for renting after an eviction.
1. Work on your credit score before renting after eviction
Your credit and legal history are two separate records, but when applying for a new place to rent, they become intertwined. An eviction won’t show up on a credit report itself but it will show up on a background check. Almost all landlords or apartment complexes will require a background check as part of the rental application process. So, if you have a past eviction, the landlord will almost certainly see it on your background check.
So how does that impact your credit score? We mentioned an eviction won’t show up on the credit report, but, if a previous landlord sent unpaid rent information to a collection agency or if your landlord sued you in court and won, this will all negatively impact your credit score. If you’ve been evicted, you need to work to improve your credit score so you can use a high score to advocate for yourself when going to rent a new property.
Start by paying off outstanding debts and paying future bills on time. A good credit score can make or break your ability to rent an apartment in the future.
2. Be honest
When people say “honesty is the best policy,” they mean it. It’s always best to share upfront with a possible future landlord about your past eviction notice — honesty is the best policy. Renting after an eviction is already hard enough and you don’t want to make it harder by having your future landlord find out you lied or withheld the truth. If they ask about your previous eviction you can simply explain the situation that led to your eviction.
Sometimes, the landlord will be more willing to work with you after hearing your side of the story.
3. Look at renting from a private party
Renting from a private owner as opposed to an apartment complex is always an option for those with eviction notices on their records. Because they’re renting the space privately they don’t have to work within the guidelines and restrictions that a regular apartment complex does. Because of this, they might be more willing to work with you and your situation. As mentioned above, be as open and honest with them as possible so they can fully understand your situation.
4. Pay more upfront
There are two ways to really get a person to help you out — buy them food or give them money. When looking for a place to rent, try and offer more money upfront. If you have the means, offer to pay a higher security deposit or two months’ rent upfront. This way the landlord knows you’re serious about renting and paying on time.
5. Get a co-signer
Getting a co-signer is another idea to explore while trying to rent after an eviction. If you know someone who is willing to and has good credit, ask if they’ll co-sign. Doing this might make the landlord more inclined to rent to you. But, keep in mind that if you don’t pay, your co-signer will have to.
6. Try and clear your record
An eviction stays on your record for seven years. That being said, there are some ways to clear your record sooner. If you’ve paid off any outstanding rent debts, reach out to your previous landlord and ask them to remove the eviction from your record.
If you haven’t yet been able to pay off an outstanding rent debt, still talk to your previous landlord. Ask them if you are able to pay off your rent if they’ll consider removing your eviction.
7. Refine your search renting after eviction
When searching for an apartment, refine your search and filter for apartments that either don’t do background checks or that accept applicants with previous evictions. By doing this you won’t waste your time looking at places guaranteed to turn you down.
8. Find the right references
Because renting after eviction is a tough road, you should have a lot of references ready before applying to rent an apartment. Because evictions are sometimes seen as a character flaw, you’ll want a reference to point out your good character traits.
Get friends, employers or colleagues to write letters speaking to your character and what a great tenant you’ll make. Submit these letters along with your rental application so that the landlord can read them and get a better sense of who you are and how you’ll be as a potential tenant.
9. Get a letter of credit when renting after eviction
Your goal when renting after an eviction is to get the landlord to understand what happened and still rent to you. Writing a letter of credit is a great start on this process. Write up your previous credit history and how you’ve changed. Tell them if you’ve gotten a new job or how you’re planning on doing things differently this time around.
10. Make a good first impression
First impressions last for a long time. When meeting with the landlord, dress nice and wear something that says you’re a reliable renter. Be polite and positively engage with them whilst speaking. You want to leave with them thinking you’re the best person to rent to. By doing this, they might be more willing to work with you and your situation.
Home sweet home
Being evicted is an extremely difficult moment to go through. And then on top of that, renting after eviction is a hard task. It takes time, effort and energy, but fear not it can be done. Using the knowledge and tips listed above you’ll be able to better prepare yourself for this daunting task.
Make sure to gather all the appropriate documents and references with you when going to meet with your potential new landlord. Tell them your story and appeal to their hearts. While it may seem like your past is still haunting you, there is hope that you’ll be able to find a new place to call home.