Apartment Living Blog

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.

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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.