Bankruptcy can be a fresh start and put you on the road to financial health. However, for a time, your credit will take a hit.
One concern that many people who file for bankruptcy have is if and when they’ll be able to rent an apartment. If you’ve been living with friends or family because you can’t afford your own place, this is something to think about.
If you want to rent an apartment, condo or even a room this coming year, your bankruptcy doesn’t have to prevent that goal. There are things you can do to improve your odds with potential landlords. Let’s look at some possibilities.
Be honest about your bankruptcy
Landlords will find out about it anyway if they check your credit, as most do. It’s better to acknowledge it up-front. If you disclose your bankruptcy, emphasize that you’re taking steps to be financially responsible. You may prefer to look for “no credit check” apartments.
Be prepared to provide proof of employment and references
Provide proof of employment and income. Landlords just want to be assured that you’ll pay your rent on time. If you’ve rented previously and have a good history with one or more landlords, include that information on your application. Provide references of people like previous landlords and employers who can attest to your responsibility.
Offer to make a larger deposit than required
If you’re able to get enough money together to pay more than the standard security deposit or first and last month’s rent, offer to do that. If you can give a landlord a few month’s rent up-front, they’re more likely to overlook credit issues.
Look for private property owners
People who own their own apartment buildings or rent out condo units or rooms can be more flexible in accepting tenants than those who manage buildings for management companies.
Get a co-signer
This is generally a last resort. However, if you have a family member who’s willing to put their credit on the line for you and you’re committed to not falling behind on your rent, this can be a way to have your own place once again.
Your bankruptcy attorney may be able to provide additional advice on this subject. More importantly, they can guide you through the bankruptcy process and provide advice for you as you move forward.