Life After Bankruptcy

Can I Rent an Apartment if I File for Bankruptcy?

After filing for bankruptcy, it is a good idea to try lower your expenses. One way to do that is to move into a less expensive home. Many Americans who file for bankruptcy give up a home that they own, or decide that their previous rental was too expensive. Because of these reasons or another, you may be wondering – Can you rent an apartment after filing for bankruptcy?

Can you Rent an Apartment after Filing for Bankruptcy?

If you apply to rent an apartment after your bankruptcy has been filed, your bankruptcy will appear on your credit report. Your new landlord may check your credit report to decide whether they want to rent you an apartment. There is no question that a bankruptcy is a black mark on your credit, so you may struggle finding a new apartment to rent. However, so long as you can find a landlord willing to rent you an apartment, there is no reason you can’t sign a new lease.

Tips on Renting an Apartment after Bankruptcy

You may need to apply to rent several apartments to find one that will give you a lease, but there are some things you can do to improve your chances. Consider trying one or more of these strategies to rent an apartment after bankruptcy:

  • Point out that you can’t file bankruptcy again for quite a while. A potential landlord may view your recent bankruptcy as a negative factor on your credit score, but remind them that you have just gotten your finances in order, and you can’t file bankruptcy again for years, even if you wanted to.
  • Offer to put down a larger deposit. Money will be tight right after a bankruptcy, but if you are able to save up enough to offer a 3-6 month deposit, you may be able to persuade a landlord to take you as a renter. With this consideration in place, your landlord will be assured that your rent will be covered for several months.
  • Negotiate with a small property owner. You may have better luck dealing with a landlord who owns a small number of properties. If you are able to deal with the property owner directly, they will at least have the authority to negotiate special terms with you, if they so choose.
  • Bring references vouching for your landlord to call. If your landlord asks for references (or even if they don’t), provide them with references who are familiar with your efforts to rebuild your finances. Use your references as an opportunity to sell yourself to the landlord.

Should I Rent an Apartment Before I File Bankruptcy?

One alternative to discuss with your attorney is whether you should rent a new apartment before you file bankruptcy. Before making any decisions, it’s important to talk to your attorney about any new monthly payments. Your attorney may recommend signing a new lease before you file for bankruptcy, as it may be easier without the bankruptcy on your credit report. With the details of your situation, your attorney will be able to guide you.