Can I still get an apartment with a broken lease on my record?

Life can be full of curveballs. While some surprises can be exciting, others such as losing a job, divorce, and other hardships can make life much more difficult. Perhaps these hardships have caused you to break a lease? Or you need to break one to find a cheaper place? So what’s next for you?

Will my landlord report my broken lease?
A variety of things can happen after you have broken a lease, if it’s reported:
Your landlord can report you to the Tenant Rating Bureaus, which can result in an infraction on your record for seven years.
Your landlord can contact collections for the remaining rent which can be reported to the credit bureaus, resulting in bad credit which can also affect future renting.
The broken lease can make it difficult for you to find a future property.

Can I get a new apartment after I break a lease?
New apartments after breaking a lease, also known as second chance apartments, can be difficult to find, but not impossible. Landlords will typically perform a background check and check your credit, eviction records, employment status, and rental history.

Before trying to find second chance apartments, you may consider getting your broken lease expunged. If you and your landlord came to an agreement, or you ended up paying off your remaining rent, you can file a motion for your expungement. Even if you do not, you can still get another apartment with a little extra effort on your part.

What can I do to help get a new apartment?

There are a few steps you can take to help get a second chance apartment:

  • Start by being upfront with your new potential landlord and explain exactly what happened at your last residence and what has changed.
  • Try to find someone to cosign the lease with you with better credt.
  • Pay a larger security deposit, or even a larger monthly rental.
  • Offer to pay with direct deposit so your landlord knows the funds will come out on time.
  • Find a roommate who can add you in a sublet rental agreement.

Second chance apartments can be difficult to find, but not impossible. Work with your new potential landlord to address your past and help build your future.