How to Get an Apartment With a Past Judgment

Second chance lessees can expect to pay more.

Second chance lessees can expect to pay more.

Illness, job loss and other family crises can quickly destroy your finances and have devastating repercussions, including having your car repossessed or your creditors making your phone ring incessantly. Unforeseen circumstance may even result in your being evicted from your house or apartment. You can ride your bike or catch a ride; you can disconnect your phone or change your number, but you need a roof over your head. It isn’t easy, but you can get an apartment even if your former landlord has a judgment against you.

Find an apartment locator immediately to help you find a new place. They typically know which apartment complexes and property managers are open to giving you a second chance and they do not charge you a fee for finding you a new apartment. According to Joan, an independent locator with Apartment Avenue U.S.A., it is important to work with an experienced locator; they usually have thorough knowledge of the market and the relationships they have built with property owners and managers that can make finding your new apartment much easier.

Be prepared to spend a lot of money; it is expensive to get an apartment with a past rental judgment. While landlords consider the circumstances that led to your eviction as well as your long-term credit history, most still mitigate their risk by requiring high deposits, typically two months’ rent, from a second chance lessee. According to Saraya Kingsley, manager of the Lodge at Legacy Apartments in Arlington Texas, your deposit will likely be held until you vacate the property even if all of your rent payments are made on time.

Pay-off the judgment as quickly as possible. Most states require that the judgment be removed from your credit records within 30 days of settlement. If you are not financially able to clear the debt, make payment arrangements with your former property owner; ensure the amount agreed on is one that you will consistently be able to pay. According to Kingsley, property managers will be more inclined to work with you if you can provide proof that your judgment is cleared or that you are making a good faith effort to pay your debt.

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About the Author

Based in Arlington, Texas, Michelle Diane has been writing business articles for six years. Her work has appeared in newspapers nationwide and on diverse digital outlets including Bounty, Breathe Again Magazine and LexisNexis. She is a University of Texas graduate and a presidential member of the National Society of Leadership.

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