Unfortunately, many landlords will avoid any rental application that shows the applicant has had a bankruptcy in the past. Generally speaking, the fact that an individual has been through the bankruptcy process complicates the application process and certainly makes it more difficult.
However, if the applicant is informed, they can give their application every chance for success simply by following some basic advice from those who have been there before. Below are some basic things that the applicant should be aware of.
The applicant, if careful, can create a situation where their application will have the most chance of success.
1. After the Bankruptcy, how has the applicant performed regarding their credit?: This is the threshold question on the mind of the prospective landlord. The landlord wants to see if, after the financial difficulty of the past, the applicant has been financially responsible. How better to show that than their credit history post Bankruptcy. Of course, the longer the period of good credit post Bankruptcy, the better.
2. Try to choose the type of Landlord that will be more open to someone with a Bankruptcy in their Past: Depending on the Landlord, some are more rigid in their requirements and others more open. In other words, try to choose a prospective Landlord or Rental Management Company that is more flexible.
Indeed, if the one who makes the decision is not open or flexible in their decision-making process, avoid them. Also, if you could find a private landlord to deal with, so much the better.
The private landlord usually has the potential of being more sympathetic and you usually would have the opportunity to express the reasons why you had no other choice but to go bankrupt. This factor alone, combined with a solid post Bankruptcy history is a powerful combination of your goal of renting.
3. References are BIG!!!: Indeed, a good reference goes a long way in so many areas of the business world. Get good references, especially former landlords! This is powerful!
4. Your job history and your overall income: Of course, it goes without saying that a solid job history goes a long way. More time on the current job shows that you are responsible and have longevity in your current situation.
The job and other income sources should show enough current income to demonstrate to the landlord that you have the ability to pay. This combined with a good post Bankruptcy payment history is another powerful tool to hit your prospective landlord with.
5. Having a UP-FRONT conversation with the prospective landlord is something you should certainly do: Basically, there is no way to hide your credit history from a prospective landlord. Most, if not all, potential landlords will run your credit history, so expect it.
The potential landlord will be more appreciative of your honesty and candor. The landlord will be more likely to cut the applicant a break and consider them since your conversation explains why and how you had financial difficulties. In this conversation, be sure to explain why your finances had difficulties.
Also, it is important to show the landlord what steps you have taken to resolve those difficulties and that they are a thing of the past. Again, this is powerful and along with the other issues, can greatly influence the decision-maker in looking at your application in a favorable light!
In conclusion, As an experienced lawyer my answer to the threshold question Can I Rent After Bankruptcy has to be answered as a resounding YES! Following the advice in this article can put the applicant in a much more favorable situation regarding their rental application.