How to Rent an Apartment After Being Evicted
Finding apartments that accept evictions can be challenging, but they don’t eliminate your chances of re-entering the rental market. Here are some steps to make you a more attractive candidate for potential landlords or property management companies.
You never get a second chance…
…to make a first impression. This may go without saying, but consider a meeting with your potential landlord the same way you would a job interview. Dress professionally, be polite, show up on time and bring all your relevant financial documents with you (neatly, in a folder).
Those things will show you to be organized and together. Being likable on the front end can go a long way in garnering some empathy later, should your past rental issues come to light.
Make good on your debts
Have you paid off your eviction-related debt yet? If not, do so ASAP, and reach your former landlord to see if they will sign a statement noting intent to remove the eviction from your record once your debt is paid.
It may take a while to get through the necessary bureaucracy, but the document can serve as proof you’re back in the black – and on good terms with your previous landlord.
References, references, references
Keep several on hand from upstanding citizens who know and like you. Your current employer would be a great one, a surefire way to let your potential landlord know your income is safe and solid.
Past employers and professional acquaintances are good references, as well. Important: make sure you ask your references before listing them so you know you’ll get a good review when they’re called.
Got cash? Use it! Offering a large deposit can soothe a leery landlord’s nerves. Add to that first and last month’s rent (fairly standard in some areas) and he or she will have something in the bank should you default – which you won’t, of course! Be sure to scrimp and replenish that savings, though – everyone needs a rainy-day cushion for emergencies.
Tell the truth
It’s always best. If your potential landlord inquires about your past eviction, be honest. Some landlords may appreciate the candor, particularly if it was due to job loss or illness.