How to Rent an Apartment with Bad Credit and Evictions

While having low credit scores and an eviction record does not make you the best qualified renter, it is also quite common. So if  you find yourself in one or both categories, I am here to tell you,  all hope isn’t lost, you can still rent an apartment, and depending on your finances and your timing of the market, you may still be able to rent in your preferred neighborhood.


Eviction filings can cause renters to be rejected for apartments because many landlords fear they will get a tenant that …

1. Doesn’t pay rent and will live in the apartment rent free for months

2. Is a troublemaker

3. Knows the court system and will their knowledge against them.

Whenever a landlord files paperwork to evict a tenant at the county clerk’s office, it becomes a public record. This public record will show up on that tenant’s background check as an eviction. It stays on the tenant’s background for 7 years.

Also, the record doesn’t stay in the state you received the filling, it travels with you, unfortunately there’s no outrunning a background check!

If the tenant received an eviction filing against them in New Jersey but is now living in California, when a landlord in California runs a background check on the tenant, the New Jersey eviction filing will show up.

Even if you went to court and won your case against your landlord, the eviction record will still show up on your background check, unfortunately, the filing doesn’t come off automatically if you win your case. You will have to go through the proper procedures set by the county to have it removed.

The tenant can seek legal advice from an Attorney to see how they can have the filing removed. Especially, if they were falsely accused, or if they went to court and won their case, the Attorney may be able to have the eviction filing removed permanently from all future background checks.

Attorney’s do charge a fee for handling these types of situations.


Credit is a way of evaluating a renter’s finances and how they pay their personal bills, which a landlord uses as a guide to how they will pay their rent.

So, if a renter has good credit and pay their monthly bills on time every month, the landlord will make an assumption that this person is an upstanding adult that handles their finances responsibly.

We all know people that may pay their rent on time every month but may forget to pay their credit cards or may pay their car payments late, incurring late fees and reduced credit scores.

It happens to the best of us!

Landlords also know this to be true, but they have an investment that they are renting out and want to rent it to the “best qualified renter.”

Many landlords do require a min. credit score of 640. IF you’re score is 630- ish you may still get the apartment, especially if no one else has applied or if you’re the first to apply with all the money available, and you’re ready to move in right away.

Another way you can still get the apartment with low credit scores is if you have a high income, meaning your monthly net income is around 3xs the monthly rent or more.

While there are a number of landlord that still have a minimum credit score requirement, there are  landlords that realizes that In order to get apartments rented, and not have them sitting on the market vacant for months,  they have to loosen their rental requirements and use other factors and resources to qualify renters, such as …

  • Age of evictions, the older they are, the better
  • Renter’s household income, the higher it is the better
  • Speaking to past landlords to get info on how the renter paid the rent

In this video I outlined 5 ways a renter can secure an apartment with less than perfect credit and eviction fillings. These may not be suitable for all, but it has worked for many of my clients.  I hope you enjoy!

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