Second chance leasing seeks to provide housing to individuals despite a negative rental history. Prospective landlords check with previous landlords to determine the type of tenant you are, and they’re hesitant to rent to anyone with past rental problems. They view it as a risk, and that you won’t pay your rent to them, even if your financial situation has changed. Landlords that offer second chance leasing, however, are willing to take that risk, but it will cost you something.
Reasons for a Second Chance
You’re a likely candidate for second chance leasing if you fit one or more criteria. These include:
- You fail to pay rent on time, consistently
- You broke a lease with no good cause
- You owe back rent
- You moved out with no notice
- You’ve been evicted
Any of these on your rental history can make life difficult when trying to rent a new apartment. Even if you move to another state, your renting past will follow you. The first thing you should do is try to resolve any issues with past landlords, which includes working out a payment plan for owed rent and other monies. While you’re working on that, look at second chance leasing as way to rent until your rental history is updated and improved.
Second Chance Leasing Requirements
Although landlords may be willing to give you a second chance, they do require certain things. For example, they want to see a good faith effort on your part to resolve outstanding issues with previous landlords, such as a payment plan or something that indicates you’ve paid all outstanding debts. If the balance is low, then some second chance leasing landlords won’t be too concerned. However, to ensure that they’re covered if you decide to break your lease with them or not pay rent, you might have to pay a much higher security deposit than others, but not exceeding what your state laws permit.
Benefits to Second Chance Tenants
The immediate benefit to you is that you have shelter. It’s tough trying to find an apartment with a negative rent history, and second chance leasing will give you a place to live. For this reason, it’s worth it even if you have to pay a higher security deposit and pay for monies owed to previous landlords. You also have the opportunity to establish yourself as a good tenant for future apartment rentals. For example, if you stay with the second chance leasing for 2 years, pay your rent early or on time, keep your apartment free of damages and maintain a good relationship with your landlord, you will have more success at getting your rental application approved at your next apartment.
Effects on Non-Second Chance Tenants
Many apartment communities are mixed, with tenants of all different backgrounds renting. The same is true for apartment buildings where second chance leasing is offered, and you shouldn’t be more concerned about living next door to a second chance tenant. However, some landlords give second chances to tenants because of a past criminal history. That should be a cause for concern, and it’s important to know what criteria your landlord uses when it comes to second chance leasing.
You can find apartments that offer second chance leasing, the same way you would find a regular apartment for rent.