How to Rent with Bad Rental History: Strategies for Approval and Rebuilding Trust

How to Rent with Bad Rental History: Strategies for Approval and Rebuilding Trust


Renting a new apartment with a bad rental history can be challenging. Landlords typically consider rental history to determine whether an applicant is reliable and trustworthy. However, having a poor rental history doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. In this blog post, we will discuss strategies that can help you get approved for rental housing and rebuild trust with potential landlords.

Understanding Your Bad Rental History

What constitutes bad rental history?

Bad rental history includes evictions, late payments, lease violations, property damage, and any other negative incidents that may have occurred during your previous tenancies.

Can I still rent with bad rental history?

Yes, it is still possible to rent with bad rental history. While some landlords may reject your application outright, others may be willing to work with you if you can demonstrate effort to rectify past issues and show a commitment to being a responsible tenant.

Strategies for Approval

Be honest and proactive

When applying for a rental, transparency is key. Be upfront about your bad rental history and explain any extenuating circumstances that contributed to those issues. Additionally, provide references from past landlords who can vouch for your commitment to taking responsibility and making positive changes.

Offer a larger security deposit

One way to alleviate a landlord’s concerns is by offering a larger security deposit. This demonstrates your seriousness about making amends and protects the landlord against any potential future risks.

Obtain a co-signer

Having a co-signer can significantly increase your chances of getting approved for a rental property. A co-signer agrees to take responsibility for the lease if you fail to meet your obligations, giving landlords an additional layer of security.

Show stable income and financial stability

Demonstrating a stable income and financial stability can help to offset concerns about your past rental history. Provide pay stubs, bank statements, and employment verification to show landlords that you are capable of paying rent on time.

Rebuilding Trust

Pay on time and in full

After securing a new rental, it’s crucial to prioritize timely rental payments. By consistently paying rent on time and in full, you can gradually rebuild trust with both your new landlord and potential future landlords.

Be a responsible tenant

Maintaining a clean and well-cared-for rental unit shows your commitment to being a responsible tenant. Report maintenance issues promptly, keep the property clean, and adhere to all lease terms and regulations.

Provide positive rental references

As time goes on, obtaining positive rental references can help offset the impact of your bad rental history. Building a positive rental history with your current landlord can go a long way in renewing your credibility.


Renting with bad rental history may present challenges, but it’s not impossible. By being honest, proactive, and taking steps to rebuild trust, you can increase your chances of approval and a successful rental experience.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can a landlord deny my rental application based on bad rental history?

Yes, landlords have the right to deny rental applications based on negative rental history. However, not all landlords will disqualify applicants solely based on past issues. It is crucial to be honest and showcase your commitment to improving yourself as a tenant.

Should I include an explanation for my bad rental history in my application?

Yes. It is essential to be transparent about your past rental issues and provide an explanation in your application. Offering an explanation can help landlords understand the circumstances and the steps you have taken to rectify them.

How long does it take to rebuild trust with landlords?

Rebuilding trust can take time, as it is based on consistent positive behavior over a period. Several months of consistently paying rent on time, maintaining the property, and having positive rental references can help to rebuild trust with potential landlords.

Can a larger security deposit guarantee approval with bad rental history?

While a larger security deposit can improve your chances of approval, it is not a guarantee. Ultimately, it depends on the landlord’s discretion and their willingness to take a risk.

By following these strategies and actively working on rebuilding trust, you can increase your chances of being approved for rental housing, even with a bad rental history. Good luck with your rental search!

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