Apartment Living BlogApartment Hunting › How to Rent an Apartment with a Past Eviction

A past eviction can cause worry when you start looking for a new apartment. Some may tell you it is impossible to rent a new apartment after a past eviction, but that isn’t actually the case. Here are useful strategies you can use to find an apartment even with a past eviction on your record.


Get Your Credit Score and Work to Improve it

Make sure it is accurate, and spend time paying down the bills you currently have. Always make sure to pay your bills on time, because it can go a long way in showing you are now responsible with your money. If there are inaccuracies in your credit history, have them removed. You could also consider using cash, so that you are not accumulating additional credit card debt.

Once you have squared away your credit situation to the best of your ability, you may want to get anadditional copy of your credit score/history, to confirm any errors were corrected and that everything is up-to-date and correct.


Try to Get Your Record Expunged

Pay any outstanding debt to your previous landlord and ask them if they would be willing to help you clear your record. Your landlord can sign an agreement which states that they plan to remove the eviction from your credit history once you’ve paid them.

That document can be used to show that you’ve made good on you past debt, even if it takes a bit longer to have it removed from your record. Always keep documentation handy, whether it is a signed agreement or receipts that show what you have paid on your previous rental.



Honesty May Be Your Best Policy

You may want to be honest about your situation, especially if the eviction was due to dire circumstances or things that were beyond your control. Some landlords may be willing to work with you, once they have heard why things went poorly in the past.

Have an Eviction on Your Record? How to Rent
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Try Looking at Privately Owned Properties

Larger rental companies have very strict guidelines about past evictions and credit history, so contacting them may result in an automatic denial of your application. Privately owned properties tend to be much more flexible, since you can deal with the owner or property manager directly.

You can also make more personal appeals in situations like this, by meeting with the owner of the property. They are much more likely to be compassionate about your situation if you add a personal touch and explain your situation.


Be Professional and Polite

When you do meet with a rental manager, property manager, or owner, make sure to dress for the occasion. Wear clothing that makes you look professional and engage with them in a positive and polite way. A good first impression can go a long way.

Offer a Large Deposit

Offering a good sized deposit can help off-set some of the apprehension a landlord may have about renting to you. A big deposit, along with offering first and last month’s rent, is a way to show your potential landlord that your financial situation may have changed and that you will be a stable tenant in the future. It also lessens their financial risk when they rent to you, because you have paid a good portion up front. It’s smart to develop an addition savings after this, so you can be sure never to fall behind, by choosing a low-cost Internet And Cable Provider that will save you money.

Have Lots of Good References

Especially with prior landlords who you have had a good relationship with. Employers and other professional acquaintances may also be good references. Be sure to ask each of these individuals if it is okay to use them as a reference before you list them on an application. You can also try to get a roommate or co-signer with good credit, to help bolster your chances.

Have Your Financial Documents Ready to Go

Proof of income, tax returns, and other financial statements should be easily accessible when you discuss potential rental agreements. Sometimes, being able to show that you are able to make your monthly rental payments will help give a potential landlord confidence in you.

Evictions Lapse from Public Record after Seven Years

It may seem like a while, but give it time. That black spot on your record can eventually fade, especially if you work to keep your finances clean and clear from here on out. If you owe debts on your past eviction, be sure to pay them off quickly, as notices from debt collectors can actually remain on your credit longer than the eviction itself.


Remember, you are not alone in this. Many people have faced economic issues in the last few years, due to a low market. Keeping a positive attitude and using all the strategies at your disposal is the best way to get into an apartment despite a past eviction.



About :

Amber is the Director of Content Marketing for ForRent.com and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber strategizes, executes and optimizes a content and social media plans across multiple channels and platforms. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of the ForRent.com brands. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.


  1. Mimi Holmes says:
    This is great advice. Can you give advice as to how to rent when you have bad credit. I’ve been looking for an apartment for about 7 months now and I keep getting a “rejected status”. I know it’s because of my credit since I have no prior eviction issues what so ever. My credit issues are because of medical bills. Please help. Thanks
  2. Hi Amber:I read your post about eviction,  and I’m one of the hundreds caught in the last economic downturn,   I have been financially unable to settle my debt to my former landlord, but over the past 3 years,  I’ve been a resident in a  transitional housing program were payment of a monthly program fee was required,   when I left the program,  I was able to get a printout of my  payments.   Would that work in my ?  Sheila
    • Baum, thank you for your question. In your situation, if it helps, you will want to show that you have been financially responsible for some type of major payment in your past. You may want to consider giving a templated explanation to your potential rental landlord before they pull your credit. This way they already have a heads up on what to expect and how they can assist you. No matter what, if you have an unsettled debt on your credit it will pop up regardless. So be honest and be prepared to prove why you are a good tenant.

  3. Jeanine Willner says:
    I had been renting an apartment for 2 years, paying every month without fail. I was there from 2013 to 2015. I was paying my rent out a card called Direct Express. It was my son’s card because he was my protective payee because I had lost my husband to a rollover accident. On March 3, 2015, I called to find out if the money was on the card yet. It wasn’t. In fact, my son who was in Nebraska at the time, forgot to renew the card. I panicked, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I called my son, and he called Direct Express.  It would take 5 to 10 days to get a new card. I went to the manager and explained the situation. She started yelling at me. If I didn’t get the rent paid in 3 Days, I was going to be evicted. Here I was nearly 70 years old with no where to turn and no one to help me. On the 3rd day, at 8:00 in the morning, the manager banged at the door and told me I had an hour to get out. I left everything and walked to the homeless shelter. I ended up paying $4,000 for the eviction, and I still feel to this day, that I was evicted unfairly:
    • Jeanine, that’s a horrible situation and I apologize that you have had to experience that. Here is a list of things to consider when dealing with a wrongful conviction. First, take a look at your states landlord-tenant rights and be sure that you are aligned with what is lawful and what is unlawful. If you can read these rights and find fault on the landlords’ behalf, talk to an attorney. This may be one of the easiest ways to fight a wrongful eviction. It may cost a bit but at least you are fighting the case. Keep the communication lines between you and your landlord open. Just the fact that you are pursuing a case, could result in this being settled out of court. Also, you may want to contact your local HUD office. They do condemn discrimination and are fully aware of the laws of the Fair Housing Act. They can lead you to helpful information concerning wrongful eviction. Finally, you can take the issue to court. There are lawyers and governmental organizations that are ready to help in a situation such as this. Although it is not fair to have to deal with it, this can happen to anyone, just know your rights and be ready to fight when it does.

  4. I’m very thankful and I’m excited.

    Because I really wanted to know how to set up a plan for the future with a past eviction over my head.

    However, upon receiving this email I didn’t know which direction to take but after reading the tips on how to rent an apartment with a past eviction. I said to myself: YES!!!!!

    Because it gave me just what I needed to know to get the job done.

    Thank you so much!

    Sincerely  SteveB.

  5. Khadidja McCormick says:
    I have a big issue, and don’t know how to proceed. My previous job, never paid me on time, so i had issues paying my rent on time. I always called and let them know, they always said its ok I’ll just have to pay the late fee, which I always did. So basically I have no open bills with them. I found a better job now and wanted to move closer to my work and started to look for apartments and I got rejected. They told me, that my apartment complex evicted me. I was shocked, because I never received a letter, that stated, that i am being evicted and that i have to leave my apartment is such and such time. So my question is, what should I do? are they allowed to put in my record that i have been evicted?even though I never received such notice? Please help me, I have no idea what to do. I don’t want to live here anymore anyways but I can’t move because if them.
    • My suggestion is to seek legal aid, a lawyer or to find a non-profit that helps with renters rights. Because it is a legal situation I am not privy to giving any advice on what the proper next steps to do but there are people out there that can help! All the best Khadidja!

  6. I think something should be done to help the tenants more. I got evicted because a drain pipe busted in the wall of my apartment. The carpet was soaked for about a week before they came and did anything. The carpet was smelling. My bed was on the floor at that time it also got wet. I called and reported it as soon as I notice the wet spot in the carpet. They found out where the leak was and fixed the pipe. But only came in and shampooed the carpet never checked for mold or mildew. I called code enforcement and the health dept. And fair housing. To be told that nothing could be done but to pay my rent. I put my rent in the bank to make sure that I could prove that I had it. Went to free legal service she told me that the other lawyer was taking too long and for me to sign an agreement. That should not have shown as an eviction but did. I had pictures and a letter from the owner and landlord stating that I was an exemplary tenant up until this point. But they won and I had to move. The judge never looked at anything. This is so unfair that these people out of greed can mess up your credit history for such a long period of time. Even when you are in the right. You should not be forced to live in unclean or unsafe conditions when you are paying your rent. Judges are unfairly siding with the landlords. Your credit report should not have that much control over your life. When people can put anything on then without verifying rather it is true or not.
  7. I’m having a hard time getting an apartment. I live at my old apartment for four years, after being there for 2 years, I started having water leaks on a constant basis, They keep fixing it and the problem keeps reoccurring all over again. Mold started developing, so I left 2months before my lease is up. I informed them I couldn’t live under those conditions anymore. Left, now I have an eviction on my report, and it’s so hard getting an apartment in new jersey. Could you recommend some private owners who would be able to help me with a place to rent

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