Second Chance Leasing Explained

April 7th, 2010 by

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.


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43 Responses to “Second Chance Leasing Explained”

  1. Patricia Cardenas Says:

    Are there second chance locations here in fresno, Ca if so where can I get a listing at or what website can I go to? I am feeling very sad due to this and not knowing it was even on my report. I do not know the persons name and it says its a joint account and I do not know what or why? Can you please help me.

  2. kesia jones Says:

    Can you please send me a list of 2nd chance leasing apartment in Dallas, Texas 75243 area code. Thank you

  3. joniese hall Says:

    Are there any places in Memphis Tn that do second chance apartment

  4. VB Says:

    Does anyone know of any second chance apartment here in tampa if so please list.

  5. JaneDoe Says:

    Ok.. I havv two apts on my bkgrnd.. The frst apt I was having serious family obligations involving my child.. I lost my job n I left bfre thy could evict me. The scnd apt I had been staying there A month and it was broken into and the apts didnt fix my door for like a month. Me and my daughter stayed in a hotel for two weeks cause we couldntb be home (they say it would take 1DAY tho) but 2 more weeks passed and it wasnt fixed. Yes things were stolen but it was minor and I was more worried about my baby. So I just left b/c they wanted me to pay but I wasnt there. What do I do about moving again..?? Help me PLEASEEE.!

  6. JaneDoe Says:

    Send answrs to my email plz..

  7. reggie crawford Says:

    Please email list of 2nd chance Apartments for the Dallas,TX. Zip codes 75233 75231

  8. Anonymous Says:

    i am living with mt boyfriend and it is hell ,is very dirty have 3dogs that stay in house pissing on everything he dont care,i am the only one to pick up. i am in a wheelchair, i cant move my left side. i now have high blood pressure. i just need to get away from him and start all over. i am an a x crimal i spent 6 month in tent for trying to hurt my x-husband did 3 years of probation. been clean ever sence.i am just looking for a start away from this man.

  9. Chris Says:

    I am in the same boat. I would advise people looking for second chance rental complexes to look on Craigslist. I live in MD so I’m not sure about other areas. In your Craigslist search just type “second chance” in the search box. Then look up the address or number that is provided to find the name of the apartment complex (sometimes the name is included in the ad) and then look for the actual apartment’s website. I have tried this in MD and found several properties. In MD, I know that several Gates Hudson properties offer second chance. Also, look up SureDeposit. It seems that some apartments are opting to use this service, which may give you a better chance of approval. Good luck.

  10. Courtney Says:

    Need to find a new place.. I messed up before but i have keep my current credit stable and bills paid on time

  11. Grady Says:

    Need second chance housing in sacramento asap!!!!!

    Lost Job 2007 resulting in Eviction in 2008, Been subleting @ $500 a month for nearly 5 year in a house I currently reside.

    I was working as an Auto salesman at Folosm Lake Chrysler when the market fell out in 2007

    I am now back on my feet and I can afford aprox. $600 or less rent each month.

    I am looking to find a program that is income based or has second chance renting options.

    The last two apartments I lived in: 1st for 6 Years as sole tenant (Tree Apartments Sac)
    Next I moved with good standing to (Oaks Apartments Sac) for 5 years as sole tenant, then job loss!

    Everything I own has been in storage while I’m paying rent for a room in a house.
    (Rent = 500) + (Storage=145) = $645 is what I am paying now and all I have is a room and my belongings in a storage.

    Will someone please give me a second chance! I am a single 42 year old with a STEADY $1,1 to 1,600 mo. income.

    If I don’t find a place in Sacramento soon I will loose my job! Then the whole process starts all over again.

    I have a steady SSA trust acount and I work for Elite Realty in Sacramento (Broker is Robert Doe)… Started in 2005, I worked off and on during the crazy market swings. Direct contact is (Rudy- Broker)
    Now I want to stay full time, but I need my independence to succeed. I need to make my meetings and get more sleep, I need to live alone!

    If I can’t get myself steady living. I will have to move and start all over :-(

    Everything I have stated is true and verifiable…. I can produce any phone no’s, documents etc.

    Everything I ever worked for is at risk!

    Please give a guy a chance!!!

  12. Alan Fenster Says:

    Needs now
    Identity theft Victim
    Broken leases
    Repo Car

    Dallas ,Tx area

  13. Rachael Says:

    Can u please send me a list of second chance leaseing in Columbus Ohio I have two kids now and made some mistakes in the past and desperately need a second chance! Thanks for the info very helpful.

  14. Tammy Says:

    I was told I have to move because my daughter had a baby, because I leave in a one bedroom apartment can some advise

  15. keith fletcher Says:

    does anyone know any apartments that offer second chance program or apartments
    that rend despite past rental history…….need help asap

  16. terra Says:

    Need help ASAP. Have 1 year old daughter and one on the way. Have to be out of my place by this Monday. Can anyone help? Maybe a list of 2nd chance places in phoenix Arizona. Or a phone number, wesite or something? Please anything would be appreciated. Thank you for your time

  17. elizabeth m Says:

    how do i get into the program……… mother of two, 21 and need help fast.

  18. Quintin Says:

    If you have a listing of second chance apartments in Maryland/ Dc area can you send it to me at my email address as soon as possible?

    Thank you

  19. febres carmen Says:

    Looking for a second chance. Lost apartment 6 months ago have been looking ever since. Only choice left is going into a shelter but due to health concerns I would rather not. Any second chance apartments in nyc, I just need some guidance please.send response to my email. Greatly appreciated.

  20. febres c. Says:

    I am looking for a second chance apartment in nyc. Have lost my apartment 6 months ago and have been looking ever since. Only option left is going into a shelter but due to health concerns I’d rather not. Is there’s second chance program in nyc? Please send response to my email. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  21. STEPHNY GANT Says:

    We had rented an apartment in pasco county over 3 yrs ago an we were tenants for 2 yrs ,me and my spouse were both laid off an owed the landlord 372. so they evicted us ,we moved out in the time they asked us to,they even called to say thank you and still filed the we were homeless. since then we r both employed myself have been employed over 2 1/2 yrs now ,and my spouse has been employed for almost 6mths. We are currently living in a hotel for over 1 1/2 trying to find a place to call home again,so looking for a place that would be willing to work with us have a little money saved not much.but can pay the bills.we are not late on paying hotel every week at 250. weekly .So any time an consideration would be greatly appeciated..tampa ,fl..ThankYou..

  22. Shaquanna lewis Says:

    I have 2 sons 11&9 i reslly dont have nowhere to live my job last year close things have been out of control would you please send a list thanks from my heart i dont want to give up

  23. Alicia Says:

    Right now, I’m separated, living with my mother ready to get my own place.. I need a second chance. This would really really help make me feel better about myself..

    Let me know if you can help

  24. Vallie Says:

    I need an second chance apartment in Maryland that goes by your income only. Does anyone know of any properties in Maryland (Riverdale, Hyattsville, College Park, Laurel) that offer this option.

  25. stacey Says:

    need second chance apartment in Raleigh NC

  26. Kiesha Says:

    I am looking for second chance apartments in Maryland.. If you have any information please email me. — Thank you.

  27. illa Says:

    In desperate need of finding a 3 bedroom second chance in tacoma washington after living where i have for the last 3 1/2 years in a 2 bedroom apartment with my husband and 3 kids i just had our 4th baby 2 months ago our apartment. Is throwing us because too many people in our apartment we have to move by july. Please send me listings of apartments for my area.

  28. shirley Says:

    Hey I’m look for 2 or 2 bedroom that around 6 something because me an my family are homelesss when don’t have no where to go plz send me something I’m only 15 years old an I’m trying to help my family anywhere in dallas ‘tx that who does the sceond chance program wwho can help us thank you very much

  29. shirley Says:

    2 or 3 bedroom

  30. Adrien Says:


  31. TRINA Says:


  32. johnny Says:

    johnny in dalla tx,Does anyone have information on Second chance leasing

  33. steven craig Says:

    I’m looking for second chance leasing and housing apartments in Dallas Texas
    please send me the information to my email

  34. jennie Says:

    Last place lived for 7 years kicked out for kid accidentally setting fire no property damage no one injured BBQ jumped to box no biggie we have been homeless since June my husband myself and 4 kids have money for move in just need a chance thanks Portland Oregon

  35. xylophila beshears Says:

    I really need help here with second chance. I have been looking for another place to stay since i have 4 kids to look after. My kids’ father cheated on me, left me with 4 kids, 3 are dwaf and need a good school so i moved from south dakota to minnesota then to florida and now im in california because there are families around to let me stay in for temporary till i find my own place. Can you please help me out???

  36. Ski Says:

    We are mid age couple in need of a second chance for renting…we have had some hard hits financially..but we doing so much better…please send us info on second chance renting.. We are very very pets.. Very quiet folks…please send info

  37. Brooklyn Says:

    TX residents. I help with second chance leaseing. Give me a call explain your situation. I can help no fee to you! 817.832.6638

  38. sha Says:

    I am a mother of 3 in Sacramento I’m trying to get a second chance. the house I was living in had something wrong with it so I was forced to move out but my landlord will verify that I dldo pay my bills on time.

    I tried to come to the Bay Area and find me a place after I found out I had to move. I found out I have something on my credit from 2006, I was in a abusive relationship and I truned in my keys and left that place. but because I was on the lease and he didn’t pay rent or any bills after that I got stuck with half the bills. I just found out about this and it just went on my credit in 2013 now I have no place to go with 3 children.

    I can’t even get into a homeless shelter there so packed I need a second chance so bad Somebody please help me.

    If anybody knows any personal landlords or private owners please contact me And God bless

  39. mecca hinton Says:

    Can you please send me a list of second Chace apartment ‘s or houses I can rent for second chance credit



  41. Zoe Says:

    Second chance apartment company I know of is Southern Management in the DMV area. I had 2 evictions due to a previous marriage but a job with income they were able to give me an apartment.

  42. Zoe Says:

    Camden Dulles apartments in the Northern VA area doesnt go by credit score they go by your income try them. I hope this helps someone.

  43. Jessica Denny Says:

    Is there a list of second chance apartments in the 64114 area?

    Thank you,

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