How to Rent a home or apartment after Bankruptcy!

Bad things happen in every family divorce, job loss etc. Sooner or later it will happen. There is something seriously wrong if you have never had an accident or filed bankruptcy.

How to Rent Apartments and Homes after bankruptcy

Download the Bankruptcy Manual


How you handle it with responsibility and courage determines what a landlord thinks of you. Did he have to find it out the hard way on his own after you lied about it or hid the fact or did you offer a reasonable explanation. There are plenty of lenders and landlords that will give you a second chance for an apartment or car.   They will ask your prior landlord if there were problems and whether you left the prior place in a good condition or not.

Many of the apartment complexes owned by banks won’t consider renting to you unless you meet their scoring systems which penalizes a person heavily for a bankruptcy and poor credit.  There are some listing services which do list properties where the owner or manager will rent to persons who have filed bankruptcy. I have always suggested concentrating on individuals instead of the apartment complexes. Rent after bankruptcy.com is a listing service but you will have to be wary since some of these services sell the list which may have very few landlords. However to shop you will have to convince the landlord to like you and understand why renting to you is a good risk. Steady employment prior history of taking care of the property and paying rent are all reasons to rent to you.

  1. You do need to bring up your bankruptcy or poor credit history. Bring it up however after he gets to know you. Answer his or her questions honestly and directly when you are asked. But you should bring it up. He shouldn’t have to pry it out of you. Your Bankruptcy and payment history will come up.
      1. Professionally managed apartment complexes charge a fee for an application which may waste you time and money. Some of them are in the business of taking applications as much as they are in renting apartments. If you do contact a complex my advice is to bring it up early and listen closely. If they wont guarantee bankruptcy will be used to deny you an apartment don’t submit the application and waste your money. Large complexes have rules which they cant deviate from. If they allow one person to rent who has filed bankruptcy they need to allow others or they risk a discrimination lawsuit.
      2. Individuals who rent homes often their prior home are far more likely to rent to you instead of your FICO credit score. If you bring up your bankruptcy you can also bring up that it isn’t like you can file bankruptcy on them. You can only file one bankruptcy every 8 years. I do suggest however that before you start this conversation that you ask questions about the property and allow the landlord to get to know you. Most people are great at evaluating whether a renter is honest and will pay the rent or not. Your job, and many other factors tell the landlord more about whether you will take care of the property more than your credit score does. Talking to an individual landlord is a lot more like asking for a date. Some subjects are not brought up immediately until after a person gets to know and trust you. You will have to spend some time with it.
  2. Factors which will influence him positively or negatively include:
    1. Your appearance and your car. Show up with a car and clothes that prove you wont take care of your own belongings and yourself and they won’t rent to you. They will assume you will tear up the apartment. Also don’t smoke while you meet the landlord.
    2. Be honest. Even though this is an individual he isn’t stupid. He will check prior landlords and do a credit check before renting to you. It may be your emergency to move in. He has however had bad renters before and it isn’t his emergency.
    3. Explain what happened. If you don’t offer any explanation he will probably assume the worst. Divorce, job loss, illness. Explain how it won’t happen again. Your divorce or illness is your problem. If he thinks you plan to make it his problem you won’t get the apartment. Explain how this will never be a problem for a landlord ever again. Prove it by bringing along proof of income bank statements your budget anything that will support that you are responsible. Bankruptcy happens to everyone but how you recover from it speaks volumes about your character.
    4. Landlords invest in property and in the renters. You are their largest risk. Either your take care of the property and pay the rent or you don’t.   If the risk to rent to you is higher you will have to increase the security deposit or rent to pay for the higher risk.

If you pay on time, maintain the property and don’t cause him problems he will value you as a tenant. You wont have problems getting the next property. Take time to sweep your credit file and work on your credit score while you rent so that the next lease will be easy.  The point is however is that you are putting all of this behind you.  If you didn’t file bankruptcy you would have retained the poor credit and you would never rent.  Eventually this will repair itself if you work on this after your bankruptcy discharge.  .