How To Overcome Issues That Will Keep You From Renting An Apartment Or House ...by Bill Knell
Thanks to an economy that changes faster than the weather in the tropics, there are more than a few people that have some sort of credit issues they are working through or are short of ready cash. The same can be said of others who have found themselves on the wrong side of the judge's bench for reasons that may or may not be fair. Either way, these are the kinds of things that can prevent you from renting an apartment or house when you need one.
Because we have become a society obsessed with credit and background checks, you can hardly buy an ice cream cone without someone wanting to check you out first. Even some public libraries have admitted that they are considering using credit and background checks to decide whether or not to grant card privileges. They claim this will scare away habitual abusers that never return books or other library materials and keep sex offenders off their computers.
Many landlords and property managers use credit and background checks as deciding factors when they chose their tenants. This presents a huge problem for people that have bad credit or have been convicted of a crime. Sadly, reports do not always tell the tale. Some of the biggest debtors are in the USA are wealthy people. They don't pay their bills because they don't have to. With dozens of lawyers at their beckon call, they just move on and dare creditors to sue them. And just look at how many rich people and celebrities have been in trouble with the law!
Unlike the wealthy or celebrities who can easily purchase just about anyplace they want to live, many average income earners cannot afford to buy and have a need to rent an apartment or house at some point in their lives. The one thing that average income earners have in common with the wealthy and celebrities is that credit reports and background checks do not always tell the tale. People can sometimes have things happen in their lives that they don't expect and are not prepared to face.
A sudden illness or job loss can easily devastate a person's finances in no time flat. Being hauled into court for back child support or forced to plead guilty when you're not just because you cannot afford to hire the best lawyer in town can leave you with a crime or felony on your record. These are the kinds of situations that credit reports and background checks ignore. Even if you have a steady job, earn a decent income and have been paying your bills, you might still find yourself refused an apartment or house rental because of something that pops up on some report.
Apart from the credit reports and background checks, some people find themselves with an immediate need for a place to live because of a spat they had with someone that they were living with or a myriad of other reasons. While they might have an immediate need to rent, they might not have the money to make that happen. Since most properties require an application fee, deposit and first month's rent up front, that can be a real problem if you don't have the funds readily available to cover all that.
It's problems like these that most people are not equipped to handle. That's when it's time to bring in a professional. They are realtors and locators that specialize in rentals and know how to get around red flag issues like bad credit or unacceptable background reports. They work with Landlords and Property Managers every day and understand that people sometimes find themselves in situations that make them less than perfect applicants for a rental.
The key to choosing the right realtor or locator is assessing their ability and desire to help you. Most realtors run a credit check on potential clients before they do anything else. The honest ones will tell you up front if they have properties that may be willing to work with you. Others will just place your paperwork in a bottom drawer and give you that "don't call us, we'll call you" look.
It's been my experience that realtors working for name brand real estate companies are the least likely to help people with credit problems or background issues. Most of these folks have enough well qualified clients to keep them busy without taking on people with credit or background issues. It's the smaller, rental specialty realtors and locators that tend to be hungry enough to help. Their properties are also hungry and may not want to pay the huge fees demanded by the big realty companies.
Choose a rental expert with a reputation of successfully placing people with credit or background issues. Make sure that they are willing to walk you through the entire rental application and approval process. The last thing anyone with these types of issues needs is some rental locator who hands them a list of properties and wishes them well. A good locator will help by acting as a mediator and negotiator between the applicant and the landlord or property manager.
An experienced locator knows that there are properties willing to work with people that need rentals, but may not have the up front fees or deposits on hand. They can help in those situations by finding properties willing to wave application fees and allow prospective tenants to arrange payment plans for the fees and deposits. As long as you have a job or regular source of income, you can find a place to live using a rental specialist.