Trying to rent after an eviction can be extremely difficult. Even if an eviction occurred years ago, landlords and property management companies might still be hesitant to rent to you. You might even have been the victim of a no-fault eviction where you were given 30 days notice to move out because the landlord wanted to remodel or move in. Nevertheless, the eviction is on your record and you’re struggling to find a new place. There are a few tips to know so you can work around the eviction and find a good place to live.
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Don’t Lie on Applications
If you’re filling out a rental application that asks if you’ve been evicted, tell the truth. Give as much information as possible to try and explain your situation. It’s better that landlords hear it from you, rather than find out during the background check that you lied on the application. The act of lying will speak louder than the eviction itself. Best case scenario, the landlord will see your application, ask why you were evicted, understand your side of the story and may look past it. However, if you lie, you won’t get the chance to explain yourself.
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Address the Cause of the Eviction
Unless you were served a no-fault eviction, you had some role in the reason you got evicted. If it was simply that you were going through a rough patch in your finances or personal life and have since learned better spending habits, then that’s okay. However, if you are worried about paying rent in general, it might be time to reevaluate where you’re looking to live, or consider looking for another job to ensure the rent is paid.
Talk to the Landlord Who Evicted You
If you’re in a better financial position than you were when you were evicted, you can offer to pay the landlord what you owe if that’s feasible. If you were evicted over another issue like violating the lease and it’s been over 5 years, you can attempt to talk to the landlord, explain your situation and apologize in hopes they’ll remove the eviction from your record. The worst they could say is no.
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Offer To Prepay Rent
If you have the means, offer to pay 3-6 months rent all at once when you’re talking to a property manager or a landlord of a place you’d like to rent. This is a hard offer to refuse from a landlord’s perspective, and also shows that you’re financially stable enough to pay ahead. Even with an eviction on your record, having the cash ready to pay demonstrates a change in financial habits than whatever circumstance might have caused the eviction.
Keep Your Credit in Good Standing
With an eviction, you want to keep your other records as pristine as possible. If a rental application requires a background check and a credit report, someone with good credit and an eviction is more likely to get the apartment than someone with poor credit on top of the eviction. Good credit indicates you’re a safe bet for the landlord, and offers them a reason to look past the eviction on your record.
Get References From Other Landlords
When you’re searching for a new apartment to rent, ask previous landlords you have a good relationship with to write recommendations, or at least ask if you can put them as a reference. If a prospective landlord asks about your eviction, you can refer them to these recommendations from your past–or even better–current landlords to help make the case that you’re not in a habit of getting evicted.
Consider a Co-Signer
If you have someone you trust in your circle who’s also in good financial standing, you might want to ask them to be a co-signer or guarantor on your next apartment lease. If you know you’ll be able to make rent no problem, this is not a risk to the co-signer, and opens up your options for rentals.
Ask Friends for Rental Recommendations
When you start your search for a new place to live, let friends and acquaintances know you’re looking. Maybe one of them or someone they know is a master tenant, and looking for a person to move into a room in their apartment. If someone you know is the master tenant, they can recommend you to the landlord and, most likely, there will not be an application process, bypassing the need to talk about the eviction at all.
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