Overcoming a Shaky Rental Application

in Find an Apartment on by

Over the years, it’s possible to pick up a few dings on your rental history. Unfortunately, even just a ding or two can make landlords look at a rental application with a little more scrutiny. It is possible, however, to overcome a shaky rental application and get the apartment of your dreams.

Just how you go about your rental application can depend on what problems appear in your history, but a general willingness to discuss any issues on your rental history will go a long way with most landlords.

1. A Short Rental History
If you’ve been renting less than a year, or you’re a first-time renter, you may be penalized on your rental application even though your rental history is technically clean. A landlord may ask you to find someone (a parent, for instance) willing to co-sign with you on the lease. Effectively, that co-signer is taking responsibility for you in the case that something goes wrong.

2. An Eviction
If you have an eviction on your record, make a point of explaining it. Even if you have to write a letter to accompany your application, it’s important to explain just why you were evicted.

According to Sandco Corporation’s rental criteria, the company will accept “a reasonable and provable reason for an eviction in their past (e.g., divorce, medical emergency, safety)”. Explain your eviction and a landlord will be more willing to rent to you. Having a willing co-signer can also speed up the process.

3. Excess Damage
It’s common practice for a landlord to call your references and check how you treated previous rentals. If a landlord hears that you did some serious damage to a property — no matter the situation — he’ll be reluctant to rent to you. However, if you offer an increased deposit (enough to cover unusual damage), you can often convince a landlord to give you a second chance.

4. Poor Credit History
Many landlords will run a credit check before signing off on a lease. If your credit is poor, you may face an additional hurdle in getting an apartment. However, if you can prove that your bad credit has nothing to do with your rental history (no bounced rent checks, skipping out on a lease or any other rental problems), you may be able to convince a landlord that it isn’t a relevant issue. You’ll have a better chance if you can prove that you’re in the process of repairing your credit.

3 Responses to “Overcoming a Shaky Rental Application”

  1. March 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm, Judy said:

    Be a good renter! Since most people don’t plan to rent forever be sure and take your commitment responsibly since it will come to bite you when you want to transition to HOME BUYER!

    I have had too many people have to wait 3-6 months to get some positive feedback on their credit reports so they could make the jump to buy a home.

    If you have been thinking about buying now may be a good time. Learn about the $8,000 tax credit for 1st time home buyers.


  2. April 22, 2009 at 10:51 am, Alexie said:

    what is the $8,000 tax credit?


  3. May 26, 2009 at 9:34 pm, Mariam said:

    This is something I am worried about as I want to move from my dad’s home and am pretty sue I have bad credit. I have no credit cards due to the fact I was scared to get any after a past bankruptcy (when I was a teen, my mom told me to do the bankruptcy, so it’s over 10 years old now), and I am pretty sure I have unpaid medical bills on the credit report. I want to pay them off, but I am on social security checks now due to my diabetes, so I am on a fixed income. I have a very good rental history though, as I rented for 14 years prior to coming to live with my father, and was never late, never bounced, nothing. I held good jobs and paid even rents over 900 with no problem. Now, I am just worried what they will say with my current situation, and even though I have none of the first three problems, the credit report might be aproblem, and since my dad is abusive to me, I really want to move and get out of the situation. Anyone else in this situation?


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