The best way to qualify for a rental is to have your financial life together and to appear stable to a landlord. It is possible to qualify for a rental even if you don’t have perfect credit. There are just a few specific things that your landlord will be looking for.
You should try to have somewhat decent credit. If your credit is really poor, then this will raise alarms to your potential landlord. The only thing that can combat having really terrible credit is having had a job for a long period of time. If you’ve been employed with the same company for many years, this says something about your level of stability and maturity. Also if your credit was damaged by something like medical issues or something understandable, a landlord might accept a situation like that. If you show the landlord that you take getting your financial like together seriously and that you are taking care of the issues that are showing up on your credit, then you might have a chance.
Another thing that potential landlords will look at harshly is if you have a precious eviction on your record. If you do, this is perhaps one of the most damaging things you can have. If you have a previous eviction, then the landlord will really want to know why. The only explanations for this that a landlord might accept are divorce or medical issues. If you’ve broken a lease in the past you will need to show proof that it was the fault of the landlord and you had no choice.
If you have an eviction or a broken lease on your record and really have no good excuse for either, you might want to take over a few sublets for about two years before you try to qualify for a rental. Many times people will have to go out of town for work or just don’t want to finish up their lease. If you take over the lease for the individual temporarily, you will have a place to live, plus you will have a good reference to counter your bad credit entry of eviction or broken lease. One six month sublet is not going to completely change a landlord’s mind though. You need to sublet places for at least two years or until the eviction or broken lease no longer shows up on your credit report before you go for a new rental.
One other good thing about subletting is that sometimes when someone asks you to finish out the lease, the landlord will ask you to stay there and sign a new year’s lease. They might not even ask to do a credit report with you since you’ve already been living there for awhile. Sometimes subletting can lead to permanent living situations.