Your Guide to Finding an Apartment After an Eviction

Getting evicted is difficult and frustrating — and it can leave you scrambling to find a new place to call home. But there’s no need to panic! Regardless of the reason for your eviction, finding a great apartment is still possible with a little extra planning. Check out these tips for securing a new apartment after an eviction.


Come to Terms With Your Situation


Can an eviction stop you from getting an apartment? Yes. Landlords and property managers consider multiple factors when reviewing your application, and rental history is a big one. With an eviction on your record, you will likely be turned down multiple times. 


Try not to take the rejection too personally, though. Refusing applicants with spotty rental history is often standard policy, especially if you’re applying at a larger complex. Each rejection is just taking you one step closer to your new home.


Talk to Your Former Landlord


When you’re evicted through official channels, it shows up on your background check and can follow you for up to seven years. However, you may be able to wipe the slate clean by making amends with your previous landlord. Clearing any outstanding debts or disputes might convince them to remove the eviction from your record. 


Rebuild Your Credit


Your credit is another important factor landlords consider when reviewing your rental application. An eviction won’t appear on your credit report, but your credit score can take a hit if your previous landlord reported missed rent payments. 


Raising your credit score will take time and effort, but an amazing score might help a landlord or property manager overlook your eviction. Some ways you can improve your credit score include:


  • Paying bills on time
  • Paying off existing debt
  • Not opening new lines of credit
  • Using less than 30% of your credit card limit
  • Becoming an authorized user on the account of someone with good credit


Work With an Apartment Locator


Apartment locators are professionals dedicated to helping renters find new homes. They have the inside scoop on the communities and rentals in your area, so they can help you find apartments that accept evictions. You can also ask around on social media or within your circle of friends and family for recommendations.


Have References Ready


An eviction on your record can trigger a landlord’s alarm bells, making them doubt your reliability. You can try to ease their concerns by providing references showing you are responsible and trustworthy. Reach out to former landlords (not the one who evicted you!) and past employers, and ask them to vouch for you in writing. Send these letters along with your rental application to make a great impression.


Get a Guarantor


Consider getting a guarantor when nobody will rent to you, whether due to an eviction or another reason. Similar to a cosigner, a guarantor is a person or organization who agrees to be another responsible party for your lease. If you fail to pay your rent, your landlord or property manager can go after your guarantor for the payment, and they are legally obligated to follow through on the responsibility.


With your eviction, landlords are likely to question your ability to pay rent, but having a guarantor will reassure them the rent will get paid— either by you or the guarantor. You can ask a trusted family member or friend with good credit to be your guarantor or contact a guarantor company.


Look for a Private Landlord


Large complexes are usually stricter with their lease requirements and policies, making it more difficult to be approved. When searching for eviction-friendly rentals, a private landlord might be your best bet. 


Private landlords are often more flexible when approving tenants, so they may be more willing to look past your eviction. If they’re still wary of renting to you, you might be able to negotiate the terms of your lease to show you’re serious about being a good tenant. For example, you could offer to pay multiple months of rent upfront or a larger security deposit.


Be Open and Honest


Trying to hide your eviction might be tempting, but the best thing you can do is be honest when asked about it. Be prepared to answer any questions your landlord might have about the eviction, and be as honest as possible without giving too much detail. Getting caught in a lie will make your application even more likely to be rejected.


If you make a winning first impression and have an open conversation, a landlord may rent to you despite your eviction.


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