Looking for the right rental unit can be a lengthy and difficult process and there are many things to consider. You need to look for a location you like, with the amenities you want, at a price range that you can afford.
Not only that, but you also need to make sure the landlord is willing to work with you. If you have good credit and a good history of renting, this should be simple.
However, if you have a spotty history when it comes to renting, it can be more difficult to find a landlord willing to rent to you. This is because you are perceived as riskier due to things like missing rent, being evicted, or breaking a lease.
Thankfully, there are second chance rentals. Second chance rentals are when a landlord will offer those with a negative rental history a chance to rent their units.
These second chance rentals give people a chance to prove they have improved. While some might want to see the progress and improvements you have made, second chance rentals are a great solution for those who have struggled to find housing.
Some of these landlords will straight up advertise themselves as providing second chance rentals, while many others will not. Because of this, finding ones that provide these second chances to renters isn’t always easy.
With that in mind, this article is going to provide some tips for finding landlords that provide second-chance rentals.
1. Go online
One of the first things to do in your search for a second chance rental is going online. The internet is a wealth of information, including information about landlords and rental companies.
Be sure to visit their sites and social media pages to learn more about whether or not they offer second chance rentals. If it is not advertised, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask directly.
It is worth having these conversations so you can have a better chance of success. The internet is also great for finding apartments in general. Whether you use a site like UMoveFree, or use social media, going online is one of the best, easiest and fastest ways to find rentals in your area.
Also, you can even use social media to have discussions with others who have a spotty rental history about how they were able to find their apartments. Simply put, if you stay offline for this entire journey, you will generally have a much more difficult time.
2. Show your progress
One of the best ways to be accepted for a second chance rental is to show your progress. You need to make it abundantly clear from the start that you are no longer the person who experienced those troubles with renting. While you saying you have improved is good, many of these landlords will want proof.
This could be letters from previous landlords stating you have paid your dues, or even statements showing how your finances have improved. It could even be something like an improvement to your credit score in some cases.
Whatever you can show or do to convince them that you have turned a corner is good to try. Of course, not all second chance rentals will care about this progress, but it is a good idea to have it ready just in case.
It is a large risk to rent to someone with a negative renting history, so by showing progress, you are easing the potential worries of the landlord.
If you aren’t able to show progress, and still are making bad choices or experiencing similar issues, your chances of finding a landlord willing to give you a second chance will be very low. Making the necessary lifestyle changes isn’t always easy, but it can indeed be done with a bit of hard work and sacrifice.
3. Be willing to pay more for a second chance rental
Another tip that can help you easier find companies or landlords willing to provide second chance rentals is to be willing to pay more.
Money often talks, so many landlords may be willing to compromise if you are going to pay them more than they were asking for. This greatly reduces the risk for the landlord and makes you a more attractive candidate to rent to as it will increase the profit the landlord can make.
While you could offer to pay more in monthly rent, this isn’t the only option you have. You could pay a larger security deposit, to protect the landlord in case of issues that may take place. Even something like paying a couple of months upfront could help convince landlords to work with you.
Of course, keep this within reason. If a landlord tries to charge you an exorbitant amount, it is best to avoid them. Many will unfortunately try and take advantage of you, so always know what the average rent in your area is.
4. Have a cosigner
A big part of finding a landlord that is willing to provide a second chance rental is giving them confidence that they will be paid on time and in full. A good way to show this is by getting a cosigner.
A cosigner is someone who agrees to make your rent payments if you are unable to for some reason. When selecting a cosigner, it should be someone that has good credit and preferably a good history in renting.
The landlord likely won’t be willing to accept a cosigner who has similar financial difficulties that you have. Of course, while a cosigner is agreeing to help you out in the case you can’t make payments, be sure not to take advantage of them.
5. Prepare well ahead of time
A good way to show yourself in a good light to potential landlords is to be prepared. Any meeting or communication you have with them, you should take the time to prepare. Be sure to look your best, be on time, and gather all necessary documents or information that the landlord might want to see.
Also, do some homework on the kinds of questions that they might ask. Come up with some good answers, and generally be prepared for whatever else they might throw at you.
Also, familiarize yourself with the financial aspects such as making sure you have enough for the deposit and potentially a few months upfront. Even if your rental history isn’t the best, being prepared and showing how much this means to you could help you
6. Be honest
Lastly, if you want to find landlords willing to give you a second chance, it is important, to be honest. Some people with poor renting history might be tempted to try and hide it or blame it on other things.
Be honest upfront, and instead of blaming your problems on others, show actionable progress on how you are getting better.
If you try to lie to make yourself a more attractive renter, you will certainly be discovered and could find yourself in a lot of trouble. A little bit of honesty can go a long way and will certainly be appreciated.
Second chance rentals can be a great solution for those with a less-than-perfect rental history. If you offer to pay more, show progress, be honest, and do the other things mentioned, finding these second chance rentals should be simple.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.