People delay or avoid bankruptcy because they are worried it will turn their lives upside. Unfortunately, the longer they wait to file the worse their lives actually get. Many are worried they’ll be unable to rent an apartment or home because they’ve filed for bankruptcy.
The truth is there is nothing stopping you from renting after you file for bankruptcy, but it can affect your ability to do so. Before you file – or before you avoid filing – it’s important to understand just how bankruptcy will affect your ability to rent a home.
Most landlords will run a credit report on you and will know you’ve filed for bankruptcy, and though they could deny you for this reason, there are usually more important factors they consider.
To find out what landlords look for when they check your credit, check out this article from NerdWallet.com.
Landlords are interested in your credit history because it’s a good indication for how you manage money. If your credit history is filled with repossessions, foreclosures, lawsuits and judgements, and late payments, this could increase the likelihood they’ll reject your application. However, a less-than-perfect credit report alone is not a guarantee you’ll be rejected.
One of the most important things landlords consider is your amount of disposable income. Whether or not you filed for bankruptcy does not necessarily affect your ability to pay your rent, but the amount of income you have to put toward your rent does.
If you’re earning enough to pay your rent, a landlord is less likely to consider your bankruptcy, especially if your income has increased since you filed. Explaining to your landlord that you experienced financial struggles in the past, but you’re back on track now and have predictable income that allows you to meet your rent obligations can help you get approved to rent.
In addition to how much you have to pay toward your rent, a landlord is also likely to consider the length of time you’ve worked at your job and whether or not it’s permanent or temporary employment. They’ll also review your employment history to see if you’ve job hopped and use that to determine how reliable you are when it comes to your obligations.
Perhaps the most important consideration a landlord will have when determine whether or not to rent to you is your rental history. Someone who hasn’t filed for bankruptcy whose rental history is riddled with evictions is less likely to receive approval than someone with a bankruptcy who has shown they are otherwise responsible, especially when it comes to renting or leasing their home.
Most landlords understand circumstances out of your control can drive you into bankruptcy and they’re more concerned about how responsible you’ve been with your finances overall.
If you’re in the midst of bankruptcy and you are currently renting, make sure you stay current with your rent payments and act as an ideal tenant. Even with your bankruptcy, you’ll be able to show future landlords you took your responsibilities as a renter seriously.
For more information on how bankruptcy can affect your life or to begin the filing process, contact the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696.