Rental house and apartment hunting can sometimes be frustrating, a real balancing act, and adventure. Issues such as monthly rent, location, size, move-in date, parking costs, and monthly utility bills are the factors that will lead into the final decision.
However, it can be a little more frustrating and time consuming for people with bad credit that are searching for a apartment to rent or lease. Many people ask the question "Can you rent a apartment with bad credit?", and the answer is "Yes you can!". There are many private individuals and apartment management companies that either lease or rent out apartments and each one has a different credit criteria for approving future residents. This criteria is usually based on a variety a factors that can include income, credit, previous landlord references, length of employment, security deposit and any equity or savings you may have.
Rental units that are operated under property management companies usually put more weight on consumers monthly income and credit score. This can make it more challenging for the renter, who has bad credit, to get approved for a apartment because their property managers and leasing agents must follow a set standard of leasing procedures. However, this does not mean that some property management companies won't approve you if you have a co-signer, a roommate with good credit, or are willing to apply a larger security deposit. They may also be willing to overlook poor credit if your income is high enough. Before wasting your time applying, call the apartment's leasing agent and explain your credit situation to see if they can accommodate your current situation, if not try the next apartment that you are interested in.
Recently, one of our associates talked to a major property management company in the state of Ohio that leases out upscale apartments. The Company told us that because of the current economic situation and unusually high foreclosure rates, they would be unable to lease many apartments if they turned down applicants with bad credit. They also claimed that one married couple was accepted and approved with three court judgments along with past unpaid personal loans and credit cards that were in collections, and a credit score of only 575. They said they mainly based their decision on their income level. They also received a move in special with a discounted security deposit of less then one-hundred dollars. This just shows how apartment complexes are currently accommodating people with credit problems by relaxing their credit guidelines.
If you have already tried applying for a apartment lease from rental units that are operated by property management companies but have found yourself being turned down every time, try renting from a private individual. These rental property owners self-manage their rental homes and apartments and therefore review the leasing applications themselves. These landlords will take into account your credit score, monthly income, prior landlord experiences, and personal references. They are usually much easier to get approved for a apartment lease because a potential renter can explain the reason for their past credit difficulties.
As a final resort, try finding a roommate such as a friend or relative who has a good credit score. If you currently don't know of anyone that is looking for a apartment you can place a ad On-line or in the newspaper. Just make sure that you thoroughly screen the potential roommate first, because you don't want to have any regrets later.
Beware Of Rental Listing Scams
Many renters face a additional challenge of a long-distance apartment hunt, in which they use websites with rental listings to find a apartment or home in another state or city.
Unfortunately, there are scammers that are looking to take advantage of them. Some of these scammers will create a phony listing to lure renters with bad credit or the promise of low rent. These scammers will ask the potential renter to send money before they sign a lease or even see the apartment.
No matter if you are a pro or first-time renter, you should know how to avoid getting taken in by a rental scam.
These rental scams can play out in a number of ways. Some scammers will steal a real rental listing by changing the contact information and email address, and then placing the modified ad on different website. The modified ad may still use the name of the person who originally posted the ad. Other scam artists will creates listings for apartments and homes that don't exist or are not for rent, and will then try to lure the consumer in with extra low rent or guaranteed credit approval. Their goal is to get the consumer's money before they find out.
Being savvy when you are in search for a rental home or apartment will take some extra effort, but it's well worth it when your hard earned money is at stake. Do a search on the listing and landlord and if you find the same ad listed under a different name, phone number, address or email, that is a good clue it may be a scam.
Some signs that you are dealing with a scam is that they will want you to wire them money. This is almost always a sign of a scam because there is never a good reason to wire money to pay a application fee, security deposit, or first month's rent. Wiring money is the same as sending cash because you have no way to get it back once it's sent.
Another sign of a rental scam is that they want first month's rent or a security deposit before you have even met or signed a lease. The landlord may also say they are out of the country, be skeptical, and don't send money overseas. Some scammers will even go as far as creating fake keys.
In conclusion, before applying for a apartment, let them know your credit situation. Finding a apartment with bad credit can be a little frustrating, but not impossible, so don't give up. Also, if you can't meet a landlord, property manager, or leasing agent in person, or unable to see the apartment, or sign a lease before you pay, keep looking because it may be a sign of a rental scam. If you find yourself being the target of a rental scam, report it to the FTC, your local law enforcement, and website where the ad was posted.