An eviction record can be damaging to your chances of renting an apartment. Landlords are leery of tenants who have been evicted, because the assumption is that you won’t pay rent or you’ll damage the apartment. With that said, it’s not impossible to rent with an eviction record. It just takes some creativity, negotiations and often more money than what another tenant might pay.
Second Chance Lease Apartments
One route some landlords choose is to offer second chance lease apartments. This solution is offered to tenants who are considered “high risk.” The landlord will give you a “second chance” as long as you can prove that you’re working things out with your previous landlord, or resolving the underlying disputes of the eviction.
For example, if you were evicted due to rent, a second chance landlord will want you to demonstrate that you’ve worked out a payment arrangement and are making payments to pay what you owe. In exchange, the current landlord will offer you an apartment to rent. However, many of these charge much more than what other tenants have to pay. It’s the price you have to pay sometimes when you have an eviction record.
If you don’t like the idea of paying more for a second chance lease apartment, or are having trouble showing that you’re working with a past landlord, then a regular landlord may let you rent if you’re willing to prepay. You’ll have to pay at least three months to make the deal appealing to a landlord, and six months is even better. Most landlords will draft a lease to last as long as the amount of rent you’re able to pay, and will only extend the lease if you prepay the same amount or more again.
You’ll have to be extra savvy about saving up the money you need for the first prepay amount, and the subsequent ones if you don’t want the hassle of moving often or making deals with new landlords. Try to negotiate the lowest amount of months you have to prepay, but be ready and willing to pay more if you have to. It’s worth your while if you can afford it, because an eviction record does make it difficult to rent apartments otherwise.
Rent as a Roommate
Some landlords will allow you to rent with someone else, and not check your rental history. Those landlords will hold your roommate responsible if you don’t pay rent or damage the apartment. It’s easier to convince a co-worker or friend to let you become their roommate when you have an eviction record than it is to lease from the landlord. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be as responsible while renting with your roommate as if you had signed the lease yourself. Your roommate can also sue you in court and evict you if you don’t uphold your obligations.
In addition to worrying about renting an apartment with an eviction record, take the steps necessary to clean up your record. Try to make it good with past landlords to show future landlords your efforts to make things right.