Second Chance Apartment Search: What you need to know (2020 Update)

If you want the best tips for a stress-free Second Chance Apartment search in the Dallas Fort Worth area, then you’ll love this (updated) guide.

With the growing market of new apartments being built in the DFW area, it can be hard to find an apartment home that works with second chance needs.

What is “Second Chance”?

If you fall into any of the following categories, you most likely have “Second chance” needs.

  • First Time Renter
  • No Established Credit
  • Credit Issues or Bad Credit
  • Late Payments
  • Bad Rental History
  • Broken Lease
  • Eviction
  • Foreclosure
  • Bankruptcy

Apartment communities do not consider themselves to be second chance. If you were to ask, they would most likely say “No”. It is important to ask them if they will work with your specific needs before applying.

It is imperative that you discuss any of your second chance needs with your apartment locator or leasing agent at the apartment community prior to filling out an application. If you have second chance issues that are not disclosed, you might possibly be turned down and lose your application, administration and deposit fees.

Check your credit report

Prior to starting your apartment search, it is vital that you know exactly what is on your credit report and your credit score. You can check your credit for free at Annual CreditReport.com. Generally, if your credit score is 600 or above, this score is acceptable, in most cases. If it is under 600, you will need to ask the apartment community for their credit score qualifications.

Income Requirements

Most apartments require income to be 2.5 to 3 times the rent amount before taxes monthly to qualify for an apartment without a cosigner. Income would also include child support, social security, disability, unemployment, etc.

Broken Lease/Apartment Debt

If you have an apartment debt or broken lease, this means that you left the apartment community before your lease term was up with unpaid rent, cleaning charges, damages, etc. You will want to know the date it was reported and any dates it has been updated on your credit report since you originally left the apartment community. You will also want to know how much you owe.

If you paid off your broken lease and have the receipt, there will be more apartments that will work with your paid off apartment debt.

There are apartments that work with unpaid broken leases but they can be hard to find on your own. Using an apartment locator that specializes in second chance can be very helpful.

Eviction/Eviction filing

If you have been asked to leave a property for unpaid rental fees or disturbances, this is considered an eviction. If you were to have left immediately after they filed, this might be considered an eviction filing, not an eviction. If you paid your late rent amount soon after the filing this is also considered an eviction filing, not an eviction. Where you still live out the end of your lease. If you have a court date, whether you go to the courthouse or not in most cases, there will be an eviction placed on your credit report.

If you were evicted, you will want to know the date it was reported and any dates it has been updated on your credit report since you originally left the apartment community. You will also want to know how much you owe for the apartment debt.

If you paid off your eviction and have the receipt, there will be more apartments that will work with you that wouldn’t work with an unpaid eviction. You can also get a letter from the apartment community to take to the court and have your paid off eviction taken off your credit report.

Bankruptcy

Unfortunately, there are not many apartments that work with open bankruptcies or bankruptcies that have an apartment debt in them. There are apartments that work with discharged or dismissed bankruptcies. The older the discharge or dismissal date the better. It is best to rent an apartment before filing bankruptcy.  

Foreclosure

Foreclosures can look similar to an apartment debt. There are apartments that work with foreclosures. The older the foreclosure the better. It is best to get an apartment before the foreclosure hits your credit report.

Late rental payments

Late rental payments can be a problem that most people would not expect. Being three days late paying your rent consistently because that is when your check comes in can seem like no big deal, but the apartments often put the late payments on your credit report. This can then make it hard to lease your next apartment.

Animal Breed restrictions

There are dog breeds that apartments consider aggressive. A few examples are Pit Bull, German Shepard, Boxer, Rottweiler, Dobermann, American Pit Bull Terrier, etc. If you have one of these dogs or any other dog breed that can be considered aggressive, this can make it more difficult to find an apartment.

Why use an Apartment Locator?

Using an apartment locator has great benefits. Lisa Parrish with Spirit Real Estate Group will do all the work for you so that you can relax. It is as simple as filling out a contact form and letting Lisa do all the work. Lisa personally contacts the apartment communities and knows what they work with. She will get a list for you and call the apartments for you getting availability, deposits, and specials. There are no catches and this service is free. When you work with Lisa, you would get a 1 to 2-hour free move or $100 cash once you sign the lease with the apartment community.