For some, finding homes for rent is as simple as scrolling realtor.com and picking the best places—but if you’re a tenant who has been booted from your apartment, it can be much harder to find another place.
An eviction can definitely damage your rental and credit history, but if you take the right steps, it can be more like a bump in the road than a rental roadblock or legal issue.
Here are six tips to help you get back to renting after an eviction:
1. Make amends
Consider approaching the landlord who evicted you and offering to rectify the situation. If you feel that the eviction is unfair, you could seek assistance from a lawyer to learn if you can take any legal action, including going to court, to settle any disputes. But, the landlord might be willing to remove the eviction from your credit history if you settle disputes and pay for outstanding claims.
Be sure to document any agreement in writing, and obtain any court or legal reports.
2. Improve your credit
Landlords look at credit reports as an indicator of whether potential tenants will be reliable in paying rent. Obtain your free credit report from the three major credit agencies to determine where your credit stands. Be sure to pay down debts that appear on the reports.
Once a debt has been repaid, ensure it has been removed from your report and seek legal assistance if you have trouble. Also be sure to pay your credit card and utility bills on time. If you skip a payment, even just one month, it can damage your credit as a tenant.
3. Seek out hospitable landlords
Some landlords will immediately refuse to rent to any tenant who has been evicted. Other property owners are more lenient and may require only proof of employment, a higher monthly payment, or a larger security deposit from prospective tenants.
Look for rental housing that doesn’t require a tenant background check or credit report. A private owner might be less likely to turn you down for housing than an apartment complex property manager. Friends and family might be able to provide rental housing referrals and assistance. An apartment broker can also help narrow a search and offer assistance in finding housing that fits with your situation.
4. Line up good references
Even with an eviction, you can show solid rental history as a tenant if you still have positive relationships with prior landlords who are willing to act as references. Past employers or business partners, as well as friends and family, might be able to speak positively on your behalf.
Another way to convince a potential landlord that you will pay rent on time and take care of the property is to provide a co-signer for the lease who has good credit. The co-signer, of course, must be willing to be responsible for the rental payments if you are not able to pay on time.
5. Be prepared to answer questions
If your eviction comes up when you are applying for a rental, be prepared to answer questions succinctly and honestly. Be forthright about why you were evicted and why it won’t happen again as a renter.
Making a good impression may be enough to show a landlord that you are a responsible tenant, rather than a risk.
6. Don’t panic
An eviction can be a black mark against you, but it doesn’t mean you will never be able to rent again. By being prepared and persistent in your housing search, you will prevail in finding the right space to rent.
The post Renting After an Eviction: 6 Tips to Get You Back on Your Feet appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.