How To Find A Landlord Who Will Work With 2nd Chance Applicants

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Providence Group Realty TREC# 0608931

Nobody is perfect. Life happens and circumstances change. Jobs are won and lost. Injuries and illness affect our ability to earn income. Decisions made may not always be right or best.

People experience ups and downs, and still need a place to live. Here are tips for finding a landlord who will work with 2nd chance applicants.

2nd Chance1. Use a Buyer's Agent or Apartment Locator - Professionals have access to systems and information that will help identify landlords with more lenient tenant screening criteria. Excellent buyer's agents pre-screen landlords for their screening criteria, policies, and exception requirements for willingness to work with a prospective file BEFORE showing or suggesting the property to his/her client. Plus, the best part is, Buyer's Agent services are generally free to the customer!

2. Disclose, disclose, disclose! Fill out a rental application for your agent, and include EVERYTHING. Include the information the form asks for, as well as anything that might pop up on a rental screen. Rental, criminal, and credit history are fair game. Mention any prior broken leases, evictions, short sales, foreclosures, repos, convictions, etc… If there are gaps in job history, explain them. If your name has changed, explain your aliases. Too often, applicants make the mistake of trying to hide negative information, thinking a landlord might miss it. This almost always results in disappointment.

3. Provide all of the necessary support documents... Neatness counts! If something isn't crystal clear and legible, it will cast a shadow on your application.

  • An application for each individual 18+ years old who will be living in the home
  • A photo ID
  • Proof of Income / Savings
  • At least 2 month's worth of paycheck stubs
  • Letters of Explanation for anything derogatory
  • Letters of reference (if possible)
  • Letters of employment / salary verification
  • Pictures of proposed pets

4. Shop for properties where you will meet 3x the income to rent ratio. Landlords prefer lower risk when it comes to getting the rent check.

5. Prepare to double or triple the rent deposit to get accepted. You will need to show proof that you have enough funds for the deposit amounts (rental deposit, pet deposit, 1st month's full rent.) If you are not prepared for this financially, postpone your search until you are ready.

6. Consider a co-signer / lease guarantor. If a friend or relative is willing to do this for you, work ahead to get all of the same info from #2 and #3 for your co-signer. The landlord will require it.

7. If finding a house is proving to be too difficult, re-consider apartment living. Rental communities often have lower deposit amounts and softer screening criteria than do individual landlords.

8. Be wary of internet ads advertising lease properties that are not represented through a Broker. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Read "The Ugly Face of Rental Scams" for red flags and common traps set by predators who are just hoping for a desperate 2nd chance applicant who will eagerly ignore all of the warning signs!

Comments (3)

Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

yes to this posting and its point...I have rented to many who lost their footing. Rents come in ahead or on time every time PLUS we have good rapport too

Dec 18, 2014 10:50 PM
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Amanda, I just wanted to stop by and wish you a blessed Christmas with your family.  Merry Christmas!

Dec 23, 2014 10:19 PM
Karen Murdock

Hello. Back in 2010 a friend rented a apartment with my husband and I .For two years we paid rent early and all was fine.Then the unexpected happen.The roommate met the love if his life and she was visiting our area from out if state. He moved out and moved out of state.Well without him paying one third of the rent unless we stop eating g and paying our other bills we had to maintain a very tight budget to pay $1600 a month and utilities and the furniture bill plus food and hygebes.We tried then my husband had to be hospitalized and not all his medicine we're covered .plus he did not receive pay while being in the hospital.I offered the landlord what I had and I tried to find a roommate to rent the vacate room Needless to say we got evicted Just after they had bragged about us as being such good tene ts for two years.After we moved out we tried to pay them what we owed them but they wanted all or nothing..We have had a apartment since then w a co signer. The next apartment were not evicted.My huz and had a accident and cànnot climb stairs. This time we have been looking for a place for 10 months.Do you know apartment that if they like us as the likeable people we are will take our explanation into consideration?

Dec 31, 2018 04:30 PM

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