The pandemic has forced a lot of people out of work. The reason is that people have been ordered to stay home, and businesses have been ordered to close if they are not considered an essential service. That means that the number of people who are unable to pay their rent or mortgages has increased significantly. That being said, there are likely going to be a fair number of people that are going to be evicted when this pandemic is over. As a landlord, I, Mark Roemer, am going to do everything humanly possible to not kick anyone out of my apartments. I know that times have been tough for everyone, and the last thing that someone needs is to be evicted.
However, there may come a time where a tenant is unable to pay the rent. I will be left with no choice but having to ask them to leave. Not only will they be without a home, but they will also have a hard time finding a new place to live. Once you have been evicted, not too many landlords are willing to rent you their property.
Thankfully, some landlords specialize in second-chance housing. Today, I am going to cover how you can go about finding these places and what will be expected of you once you do land that new home.
What is a second chance property?
I figured I would start by telling you exactly what a second chance property is. Essentially, second chance properties are people that have less than perfect credit. While most of the time, this means you have skipped some rent payments, credit card payments, or are otherwise in arrears in some way, shape, or form, it is not exclusively the case. Sometimes people just starting in life are going to need to locate a second chance property. Since they have no credit, it is harder for them to find a property owner willing to take a chance and let them rent the apartment.
What are the leasing requirements for second chance properties?
If you are renting an apartment, you are going to have a lease. A second chance property is no different. The reason for a contract is that a lot of money is spent finding the correct tenant for the property. Naturally, landlords would like to avoid paying extra whenever they can. To circumvent having to continuously screen applicants, they have set up a lease agreement. Typically, the lease will be for one year. However, you may be able to find rentals that are for as little as six months and as much as five years.
You may see a lease as something that is tying you down, but it is equally beneficial to you as well. Having a lease means that you cannot be kicked out because your landlord woke up in a bad mood that day. Most of the time leases also benefit you by limiting the amount of rent that you can be charged from one year to the next. The longer you sign the lease, the longer you can go without paying more rent.
Not unlike regular leases, second chance properties will have their agreements as well. However, in addition to standard lease rules and regulations, you are going to have to provide the landlord with additional information. Some of the requirements may seem intrusive, but it is for their safety. Some of the things you may need to do before you are rented the property are quite extensive. Something like proving that you are attempting to make amends to a previous landlord, showing good faith and trying to repay your bills, and ensuring you have a stable job that will allow you to pay both the rent and the other recurring payments you will have to make each month. These are not in place to shame you, but to let the landlord know they are making the right decision.
How do I find a second chance property?
You would look for these properties in much the same way you would look for a typical apartment. You search your favorite search engine for property near you. Start by filtering the results with the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and the cost you are looking for.
Once you have found a property that meets your requirements, it is time to call the property owner. Be honest and upfront with them. Let them know you have less than perfect credit, that you have been evicted, that you filed for bankruptcy in the past, etc. Ask if they are willing to give you a second chance in life. You would be surprised at how many landlords are eager to take you on regardless of what you have or have not done in the past. Just remember they may ask for a higher than the standard security deposit, and you may have to provide them with the information I discussed earlier.
Can I use a second chance property as a steppingstone?
In a word – absolutely. All you need to do is consistently pay your rent on time, leave the apartment undamaged, and follow all the conditions on your lease. After a certain amount of time, you will find that your credit will begin to go back up.
Once your credit is acceptable to get a better apartment, you will have the word of your landlord and the credit history to prove that you have turned your life around. I am not saying that you will get the best apartment after only a few years, but you most certainly will not have to live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in a questionable neighborhood.
I, Mark Roemer, would like to remind you that not all your life choices are final. You can make amends and restore your credit. That being said, I wish you the best of luck in finding a new place to live. I hope you find this information helpful and that you can use it to the best of your ability.