Updated: Jun 27
Second chance leasing offers individuals with a negative rental history, past financial issues or a criminal background the opportunity to lease an apartment. Most apartment communities won't lease to individuals with a broken lease, eviction, financial woes, or certain criminal convictions. It is an added risk many communities won't be willing to take. Landlords and apartment communities that offer second chance leasing, however, are willing to take that risk, here are a few things to know about second chance leasing.
REASONS FOR SECOND CHANCE LEASING DUE TO NEGATIVE RENTAL HISTORY OR PAST FINANCIAL ISSUES
Broken Lease Eviction Money Owed for Damages Failure to Give Notice Bankruptcy Foreclosure
If you have one or more of the above, it makes renting a new apartment quite frustrating. Your rental history and/or financial issues will follow you even if you move to another state. Make it a priority to resolve any issues with past apartment communities you owe money to - even if you establish a payment plan - this can help you find a new place to rent. Resolving these issues does take time so in the meantime look at second chance leasing as an option, this can help you find a place to live in until your rental history has improved.
REASONS FOR SECOND CHANCE LEASING DUE TO CRIMINAL BACKGROUND
If you have a criminal record, you will find apartment hunting a challenge. There are more communities willing to accept someone with a misdemeanor as a tenant than a felony. Communities that do accept felony backgrounds typically will only accept them 7-10 years after completion of the sentence. There are a few apartments that consider applicants with a felony that is more recent depending on the charge. It is unlikely to find a community that will accept someone that has a felony for violent crimes against another person or sexually related crimes.
QUALIFYING FOR A SECOND CHANCE LEASE
Each community will vary greatly as to their policy on second chance leasing. Some communities may accept one broken lease or one eviction but not both. Or a community may only accept a broken lease or eviction background if they are paid in full. Some communities may be willing to work with a broken lease or eviction history if the prospective tenant has established a current and verifiable good rental history. One community may accept certain felony backgrounds if it has been over 7 years since completion of the sentence, while another may require it be 10 years. You get the point, there is no set policy across the board for second chance leasing.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A SECOND CHANCE COMMUNITY AND THE BENEFITS
The immediate benefit to you will be to have a place to live! The downside is you may not have many choices in leasing. You can expect the communities to require you to pay a higher security deposit in most cases. Another benefit for you is you have the opportunity to establish yourself as a good tenant and this will make leasing apartments in the future easier. For example, if you stay with the second chance community for a full year or longer, pay your rent on time, keep your apartment free of damages and maintain a good relationship with your apartment manager, you will have a higher chance at getting your rental application approved at your next apartment.
HOW DO YOU FIND A SECOND CHANCE COMMUNITY?
You can spend weeks calling communities and asking them if they offer second chance leasing and find out their specific policy. Or you can simply contact an apartment locator with experience in second chance leasing. You don't need to tell the locator the full story of WHY you broke a lease or details about WHY you were charged. Just give the locator the facts. Example, tell the locator: I broke a lease in May 2014 and I owe $2200 to the community or I have a felony conviction for a DWI and completion of my probation was in June 2012. You are not pleading your case to the locator, it is NOT the locator's decision to lease to you or not, the community will approve or deny your application. A locator can only recommend communities that have policies on second chance leasing that will consider your application. They can't make a guarantee that the community will approve you as many factors are considered when processing an application. Always be sure you let the onsite leasing agent at the community know you were sent there by the locator who has assisted you and list the locator's name and company on the lease application as your referral source. This in no way effects your rental rate. Communities appreciate the effort locators put in to help them find tenants.
At Texas Apartment Locating, we are non-judgmental and will do our best to help you find an apartment willing to work with your situation. If you'd like help finding a second chance community please fill out a short search request form to get started.. Our locating service is 100% FREE and we offer cash rental rebates.