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As a reference, I just completed 20 years in apartment management in March 2005. Your situation is tough but not impossible. Most companies these days use third party agencies to develop rental credit scores, which have no direct comparison to credit bureau scores (usually referred to as beacon or fico). These other systems incorporate bureau scores, rental history, and court records (public information) to arrive at a score.

Management companies typically have input into what criteria is included as well as what final scores are acceptable, straight or conditional (extra deposits, shorter term leases, etc.) Ultimately, the quality of the community, the current occupancy rate, and the location of the property, combined, will dictate an often fluctuating policy. Your possibilities include:

  • State straight up that your credit score is bad, and offer to pay the maximum security deposit allowed by law in the state. Maryland for example is twice the rental rate agreed upon. Some management companies like United Dominion Realty Trust offer this option at almost all of their communities. Look them up on line and at udrt.com and then following the system through the looking for an apartment function. In addition, you may want to check allcreditrentals.com, which is the website featuring professionally listed apartment communities that helps people with low credits find the apartment they want.
  • Ask if you can have a trial 3 or 6 month lease at the typically higher short-term lease rate. Request the possibility of then converting to a years lease after proving your payment ability during the initial term. Some companies will do this when accompanied by a larger deposit, not necessarily the maximum allowable deposit in section 1 above.
  • Cosigners are accepted at many communities. Cosigners are usually required to have impeccable credit and significant incomes, because they are agreeing to cover your rent in addition to their own housing obligation should you default. Great credit implies that they won't let you damage their credit, thus covering the rent.
  • Finally, find a community that will allow you to be an occupant while someone else is the leaseholder. 50/50 chance. Many properties require anyone 18 or above to be a leaseholder which is not what you'd be looking to happen. The gray area on this approach is that the other person is supposed to be living in the apartment. Otherwise, they shift from the title "leaseholder" roommate to someone subleasing the apartment to you. Many apartments reject the latter. I can't suggest lying because if caught, the landlord will issue a notice to vacate.
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7y ago
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7y ago

ThisYou may get the co signer then you can rent the apartment without credit otherwise you can ask landlord to take security deposit after some time.

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15y ago

It's very hard to rent anything with bad rental history. You are considered unstable, unreliable, and to some apartments not worth the time of day to file the paper work. I suggest contacting an agency to help clear your credit and history. Find out what you owe, pay it, and in turn your 'history' will clear up as well. It might show negative marks, but if you are paying, it shows that as well. So it's a good thing to contact credit places and other agencies to clear your name, it'll cost you though.

However on a more positive note; if you cannot clear up your credit before getting into a new apartment, do not despair, some apartments will either ask you for a large security deposit (even better if you offer it and indicate that you are trying to make a fresh start) or will either disregard negative history due to the large number apartment rental agencies that unfairly report charges against consumers, or that do not update rental history on credit reports.

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15y ago

Most apartment complexes understand this and even ask on the application if you've been living with parents or relatives if you have no previous credit or landlord.

You need verifiable income and you can list all sources of that income to help you qualify.

Give them your best references (friends, co-workers) and if you're a student, be sure to let them know that, too.

Be honest and try to work closely with one Leasing Agent. It avoids confusion and delays in being processed.

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Q: How do you get an apartment or rental home with bad credit?
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Do you have to pay an application fee for an apartment?

Most property managers require an application fee to see the Tenant's seriousness in the rental. Also, they want to make sure you are not wasting their time with bad credit or bad rental history.


Where can you rent an apartment in Tacoma if you have bad credit?

Few traditional property owners or management companies will rent an apartment to you if you have demonstrably bad credit. Some ways to manage that include: * Putting down a higher security deposit (3-6 months instead of 1-2 months) * Ask someone with better credit to apply with you and then have them "leave" the rental after a month * Look for apartments next to or very close to colleges and universities - property owners tend to be a bit more lax in those areas


If you pay 6 months rent upfront will you be able to rent a property with bad credit history?

Usually, it depends on the landlord though. That's how most people with bad credit get an apartment.


What is the minimum credit score apartment owners look at before they will accept tenants?

Normally speaking, apartment complexes and owners are not looking at a credit score as a basis for their decision to rent you an apartment. Of course this might be a factor with luxury apartments. But what landlords are looking for our history of evictions and nonpayment of utility bills. If the issue with your credit is simply with credit cards, medical bills, or even furniture bills, this usually does not affect the decision of the landlord. This is especially true with landlords who rent apartments to low income tenants. Also if your credit issue is more than two years old this is often overlooked by the landlord. Most apartment complexes will do credit checks -- that's a fact of life. But if everyone with bad credit was denied an apartment this could be considered discrimination. Other factors involved include criminal records: apartment owners do not want recently convicted felons are convicted sex offenders in their units.


How can you find out if you have a bad rental history?

You probably already know what your history is -- a good history would reflect on time payment, finishing your lease period and having no unpaid amounts for any damages. Also, you are entitled to a free credit report, so you should run that to be certain that everything is correct. You should not pay anyone to clean your history, because it is ineffective. Get help from a certified nonprofit credit counseling agency. If you have issues, then you may need to work with a roommate.

Related questions

How do i rent an apartment with bad rental history?

You can rent an apartment with bad rental history by going to your town or county and asking for a list of apartments and houses that rent to low income people. These people typically don't have good rental history but the managers and owners will work with them. You can also apply anyway and may have to put down a larger deposit than someone with good rental credit and credit history.


Do you have to pay an application fee for an apartment?

Most property managers require an application fee to see the Tenant's seriousness in the rental. Also, they want to make sure you are not wasting their time with bad credit or bad rental history.


Is it easy to find a rental apartment?

It depends on your geographic location and credit background. Most places run a credit check, so if you have good credit, it will be much easier. If you have bad credit, it might be a little harder to find a place.


Can a company not report good credit but will report bad credit?

Technically, yes, but usually this is not the case. Most major companies will post the good and the bad, particularly credit card companies and banks. Other companies will only report the negative, such as utility companies, apartment rental companies, etc.


Can I use only my credit score to rent an apartment if my husband has a bad one?

Your credit score is one part of your rental application, and it's important to know that landlords will usually check all three credit bureaus when considering an applicant. If you have a low credit score, you may want to ask your husband to cosign on the lease with you. This will help improve your chances of being approved for the apartment you want.


Can an apartment complex refuse to rent an apartment to you if you have filed for bankruptcy in the state of Florida?

Yes, an apartment complex can refuse to rent an apartment to you if you have bad credit. A bankruptcy alone will not stop you from being approved or disapproved from an apartment, they will consider your overall credit score and credit history.


Can you be denied an apartment at a tax credit community if your credit is bad because of disability?

You can be denied an apartment by any community and for any reason except reasons for which a person is discriminated against: color, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and other protected reasons. Whether the apartment complex is a tax credit Apartment complex or a conventional apartment, the selection criteria is generally the same, because whether it is a tax credit apartment complex or conventional, it is still privately owned. When an apartment complex performs a credit check, they are not looking for those people who don't pay their credit card bills or their medical bills, or are they paying either; they are looking for those who are not paying their utility bills or for those who have been evicted from a previous rental property. This will be true regardless of whether the person is disabled.


Where can I find a bad credit home loan?

You can find a bad credit home loan at homecredit.com


What harmful effects does adverse credit have?

There are several harmful side effects of bad credit. For example, bad credit can lead to high interest rates on loans and credit cards because lenders see you as "risky". Also, those with bad credit may be denied for credit cards and loans. Bad credit may make it difficult to secure an apartment rental, a new car, a cell phone contract or a job in finance or upper management. Insurance companies may offer you higher premiums. You may receive calls from debt collectors.


Is bad credit going to keep you from renting a apartment?

That depends if the place your renting is doing a credit check on you. Not all landlords do credit checks.


Why might a rental car company refuse to rent to someone?

bad credit, no credit card, age, no license, history of accidents


Where can you rent an apartment in Tacoma if you have bad credit?

Few traditional property owners or management companies will rent an apartment to you if you have demonstrably bad credit. Some ways to manage that include: * Putting down a higher security deposit (3-6 months instead of 1-2 months) * Ask someone with better credit to apply with you and then have them "leave" the rental after a month * Look for apartments next to or very close to colleges and universities - property owners tend to be a bit more lax in those areas