Apartment Living BlogApartment Hunting › Can You Rent an Apartment after Filing Bankruptcy?

If you’ve filed for bankruptcy at some point in your life, chances are you’ve dealt with more than your fair share of stress. And you, like anyone, probably want finding an apartment to be as stress-free as possible. Unfortunately, having declared bankruptcy in the past does add some extra stumbling blocks to the apartment-hunting process; a lot of landlords are likely to be wary of that negative mark on your credit history.

Fear not, though: you can rent an apartment after declaring bankruptcy. The hard part will be the application process.

Here are some factors that will help determine whether you will get approved for a lease:

Before and After Bankruptcy

First things first: you’ll want to be upfront with any potential landlords. Most of them will run your credit history during the application process, so chances are they will find out that you’ve filed for bankruptcy one way or another. The good news is, an honest conversation about the circumstances leading up to you filing and what you’ve done to improve things since then is likely to be much more appreciated than them finding all this out during a routine credit check. Be sure to tell them what happened to cause your bankruptcy and what steps you are taking to rebuild your credit. If nothing else, they’ll appreciate your frankness.

Which Landlords You’re Working With

Different landlords have different policies, so you may have more an easier time with one company or individual than with another. With some searching and a bit of luck, you might be able to find one in your area with a ‘no credit check’ policy. If not, see if you can find an independent landlord to rent from rather than a company —this way, they’re likely to be a bit more flexible and sympathetic to personal history. You may also have some luck renting near a college or university campus, because landlords there will likely be accustomed to renting to students with little or no credit history, so they might have a little more wiggle room in their policies.

Current Employment Status and Income

At the end of the day, what your landlord cares about is that you can pay the rent on time each month. If you’re able to prove you can do that, then they’re a lot less likely to be dissuaded from giving you a lease based on a past declaration of bankruptcy. If possible, you might want to provide them with paystubs or bank statements that show you have a consistent enough income to keep up with your bills. Not to mention, if declaring bankruptcy released you from debt, then you now have more disposable income, which your potential landlord may take into account. It may also make them feel more comfortable if you fork over a larger deposit or a few months’ rent in advance —which can be annoying for you to have to pay but, in a pinch, will show them that you’re good for future payments.

Post-Bankruptcy Credit and Rental History

If your credit and rental history have been good since you filed for bankruptcy, that will probably hold some sway with property owners. Things like recent evictions, lawsuits, and late payments will damage your chances of signing a lease if you have them on your record. If you don’t, however, you can count that as a good sign. If a landlord can look through your more recent history and see that you are generally trustworthy, they will feel a lot less anxious about renting to you.

People Who Will Vouch For You

Most landlords will take references into account, whether they’re from employers, previous landlords and roommates, or even personal references in some cases. If you have people like this that you’re in good standing with, we recommend reaching out to them and asking if you can give their contact information to landlords you’re hoping to rent from. You may even want to put together a packet of your references and how to contact them, so that you can give it to prospective landlords right off the bat, when you explain to them what the situation is. Seeing that you have taken this step and that other people trust you enough to vouch for you will help them feel less reluctant to approve your rental application. If all else fails, consider asking someone with good credit to co-sign with you, so that the responsibility of your rent payments can fall partially on them (at least on paper).


Declaring bankruptcy is an unfortunate situation and it certainly doesn’t make apartment-hunting any easier. Even so, it is by no means impossible. With these five factors, you can be better prepared for the application process. After you have luck with the apartment renting process, read this important advice before signing the lease!


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. Amber, I can’t even get an Apartment in Tennessee. It’s $369, I make 3 times as much, been with my Corporation for almost 11 years and just moved here from Washington In June 2017. My dilemma is: I am on the electric bill with my Son, who I help get into his home. I also had my own Apartment and had to get my electricity on too. Well, my son racked up the bill PRETTY DARN HIGH. He claims he had to take my name off the bill to get help from the local electricity assistance program. Well, it went to COLLECTIONS with my name still on the original bill. The assistance program dud say my name was off the bill BUT someone dropped the ball somewhere. Now I AM STUCK HAVING TO PAY THIS LARGE BILL AND CANT GET THE APARTMENT IN TENNESSEE BECAUSE ALLLLL THEY SEE ON MY CREDIT IS THIS LARGE BILL!! Ican pay my rent, pay my electricity bills!! Is this legal or can each State do what they want?? JUST CURIOUS??
    • Thanks for your comment, I can see how this can be frustrating. If someone dropped the ball somewhere then it may be your responsibility to find out where and get it back on track. Although it may be an issue to pay the large bill, it could be easier to get it out of the way just so you can move into the apartment in Tennessee. White city in Tennessee are you interested in moving to?

  2. shelly m murray says:
    when you go rent a place to live they should only check to see if you ever been evictive and if you are ever late on your rent that is all they should check you for . that is the way that i see it it is really hard to rent some plase when you got bad creited aginst you.
  3. Elaine Rico says:
    Thanks for this information, it was very helpful.  My hearing is coming up and Iam terrified of this. Iam now scared of the possibility of not having a place to live.  A friend of mine lives in low income housing and told me that they didn’t check credit?  She took me to pick up housing applications. Upon reading them I see that that’s not nescessarily true? It does ask about credit history.

    My days are filled with anxiety because where will I go?  I have been living in my place for about 20 years. The rent is getting to expensive, deleting my retirement savings at a rapid rate. Getting a job is not easy for someone my age.

    • Hi Elaine, thank you for your comment. We understand how difficult of a time you must be having with your renting situation. Instead of being scared of what could happen try getting the facts first. Every person’s credit and financial situation is different so you never know what resources are available to you and who is willing to help. Hopefully your apartment search will ultimately be successful and these hurdles will be behind you.  Then you can deal with all that fun packing!

  4. My husband and I are in the process of filing chapter 7 bankruptcy and I am really worried that we won’t either be able to buy a house or find an apartment to rent once this is all said and done.  I know a lot of people on various platforms have commented about finding an apartment community that doesn’t run a credit check but I don’t want to end up living in a bad neighborhood, in a place where things are run down and not kept up, and without any ammenities.  I realize I have made bad credit decisions in the past and we chose to file bankruptcy to help us get a fresh start but it still feels like we are fighting an uphill battle that is almost dang near impossible to win.
    • Hello Laurie, thank you for your post. I know right now, it feels like there are trying times ahead but you have to understand that you will get your fresh start! Bankruptcy doesn’t mean that you can not rent an apartment it just means you may have to try multiple apartment communities. A small price to pay to restart your lifestyle. Be consistent and honest in your approach. Build or rebuild your renters resume with proof that you are steady with your payments. Your credit will turn around and you’ll be on your way to a renters lifestyle you always wanted.

  5. Jessica M Soderberg says:
    I’m in the process of searching for an apartment and I’m in the middle of waiting for my chapter 7 Bankruptcy to close, l have a steady job of over 2 years, and a history of paying on time, also in Bankruptcy I’ve never had eviction or late payments on bills like electric, gas, cable, water, garbage, etc. Am l going to be able to rent an apartment, in the Portland Oregon state?
    Thank you.

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