I Failed My Renter Background Check, What Now?

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I Failed My Renter Background Check, What Now?

Staff Writer · Dec 16, 2009

One of the most difficult obstacles an applicant may face if having failed a renter background check. In many cases this may be all it takes for your application (and application fees) to be set aside and rejected. However, it does not mean it is the end of your ability to rent, and it may not even be the end of renting within a community where your application has already been returned.

Discovering a renter’s history most likely will reveal anything and everything in your past. And, if there is an item that may prohibit you from leasing then preparing for any problems you may encounter will be necessary sooner or later.

Take a Look Yourself

If you’re not exactly sure what a landlord may find in a background check, then it may be worthwhile to find out before you fill out a new application. Any number of web-based agencies will run your personal credit and background for a fee. This will allow you to prepare properly ahead of time for questions raised about your past. In addition, showing up to an interview with this information in hand is an excellent way to demonstrate to your new landlord that you have already taken responsibility for whatever may have happened, and what’s in the past has stayed in the past.

Ask Ahead

Not all past activity, whether criminal or otherwise, may prohibit you from leasing. Non-violent acts and arrests associated with minor criminal violations often times are either allowed or overlooked by a rental community. Because an unpaid parking ticket can ultimately result in an arrest warrant, many minor crimes subsequently fall into the category on non-threatening. Also, placing emphasis that an embarrassing incident may have taken place many years prior, or during adolescence may be enough for a landlord to overlook it. Make sure to ask ahead of time what type of restrictions a particular community may have, and be willing to explain your situation up front so that you know exactly where you stand before paying an application fee or similar.

Prepare for a Higher Deposit

Should you be unable to explain your way out of a situation, or your chosen community is just unwilling to allow your residency, you may have to prepare to choose a location more sympathetic to your situation. Duplexes, single family residences, or roommate living or residences that may be owned by private individuals, on a smaller scale may allow you more direct opportunity to explain your case to the owner or owner’s representative directly. Also, by offering to pay a slightly higher deposit may also grease the wheels of the rental apparatus. By offering a higher deposit you lessen the risk of the landlord who may then be willing to risk leasing his investment to someone with a below average renters history.

Finding a new apartment may be difficult enough. But, to search while anticipating a failed background check is downright discouraging. Remember, the rental market is vast, and opportunities do exist. Finding the right opportunity may take slightly more effort on your part, and it may also take offering slightly more incentive to a prospective landlord.

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