Finding a place to live is stressful enough as it is, but if you have filed for bankruptcy and you are trying to rent an apartment or house, the experience can be even more so. Bankruptcy can make it tougher to rent a home, but doing so is not impossible. There are several things you can do to ensure renting a home goes smoothly for you and your family, even after bankruptcy.
Think Outside of the Box for Searching
Many people just look for apartments in the newspaper classified section or by visiting local complexes. There is a great deal of rental information online and you are able to conduct very specific searches. You can even contact rental companies via email and give details about your specific situation. This saves you from running all over town only to be turned down after a visit. Also consider renting from a private owner. Their requirements are often less strict than corporate rental agencies.
Be Honest about Your Situation
Most rental agencies, even in instances of private owners, will run a credit check before renting to you. Be up front about your circumstances and explain where you stand now. If a divorce or medical issue led to your bankruptcy, share those details. You do not need to go into specifics, but letting the rental agent know ahead of time gives a good impression. You might even have some information on hand when you meet with the agency. For instance, bring a few recent bills you have paid on time or a letter of recommendation from your bank or place of employment. This shows you are willing to go the extra mile to make a good impression.
Ask About Unorthodox Rental Options
Sometimes rental agencies are unwilling to enter into a long-term lease with someone they consider a risk, but they might be willing to offer something short-term. This is not the most convenient of options, but it gives you a few months to prove yourself to the rental agent. If you pay your rent on time short-term, they might eventually extend a longer lease.
Expect to Pay a Larger Deposit
In some cases, a rental agency will automatically require a larger deposit from a higher risk renter. If this option is not offered and you are concerned you might be turned down for an apartment, offer to pay a higher deposit. This can be especially helpful in the case of a private owner. You are basically offering them a few months worth of insurance on their risk.
There are no-credit check apartments out there, but it might take some effort to find one that is located in a safe neighborhood that is close to where you need to be. Make sure you tour any rental before agreeing to sign a lease and be sure you are comfortable with the arrangement before committing.
So remember, bankruptcy does not necessarily mean you will be denied a home or apartment rental. It just might take a little extra effort or possibly a higher security deposit. Remember, there’s a positive side to your post-bankruptcy situation and many creditors realize this fact. After your bankruptcy, you’ve discharged your debt and cannot file another bankruptcy for a certain period of time. That’s actually less of a risk than someone who has not filed yet, owes a lot of debt and is trying to sign a lease.
A potential landlord will worry that someone drowning in debt will not pay the rent timely and might eventually file bankruptcy. If you have already filed bankruptcy, you’ve started a new path that eliminates many of these risks.
If you have questions about bankruptcy or you need to speak with someone about filing, contact the law office of Frank J. LaPerch, PC.