Many clients ask us how a bankruptcy filing will affect their ability to rent a home or apartment. While bankruptcy can certainly make it more difficult to rent, it is not impossible. Potential landlords will take several factors into consideration when renting to you, including past bankruptcies. With some basic knowledge, there are ways you can improve your chances of renting your next home while in bankruptcy.
Renting before filing
If you have not filed yet, you might want to consider doing a pre-bankruptcy rental search. If you know ahead of time that you will need a new home due to surrendering your house in bankruptcy, think about locating a rental before filing. This way, your credit score is not yet affected by the bankruptcy filing and will not disqualify you from getting the rental you are interested in.
Renting after filing bankruptcy
If you’ve already filed for bankruptcy and are searching for a home to rent, it does not mean that you are out of luck. Some properties will take your bankruptcy into consideration and figure that you have more disposable income to meet your rental payments on time. They may look at factors such as your length of time at current job, current pay rate and your prior employment to determine if they feel you’ll be able to make your payments each month.
Once you’ve located an apartment or house to rent, you’ll want to determine what the specific credit requirements are. Explain to the lessor that you’ve had some financial difficulties which lead to you filing for bankruptcy. Be sure to convey that you have every intention of paying your rent on time, and provide proof of a positive past rental history if possible.
You may find that you’ll have better luck dealing with an individual landlord as opposed to a large complex or management company. A management company will most likely look only at your credit report and not consider your situation. An individual landlord is more likely to take into consideration things like your current employment, past rental history and your personal presentation.
How you present yourself can play a major role in obtaining the rental property that you’re interested in. If you have a respectable image, appear confident and can explain your current financial situation in a compelling way, you’ll be more likely to get the lease even if you’ve already filed for bankruptcy in Jacksonville.
If you’re having difficulty securing a long-term lease, consider looking for a short-term rental. Landlords who may be wary of extending a full year’s lease to you may be more open to starting out with a shorter lease to ensure that you make your payments on time. This can also help you to reestablish your credit history by making your rent on time each month.
Keeping the above information in mind can help you when renting a home after filing for bankruptcy. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, the experts at Parker & DuFresne can help. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (904) 733-7766.