Renting an Apartment with a Broken Lease
Broken leases are tough because there are so many variables to consider. Houston complex owners constantly change their minds about accepting individuals with questionable rental, depending on the rental property occupancy rate at the time and just how badly they really want to lease a particular unit. What I have found is that you never know who will take you. My best advice is to discuss your particular situation with your Renters Resource Houston Apartment Locator and let them know the details of your broken lease.
Most importantly, when you go out apartment hunting:
1) Go to the properties that you like and visit with the Rental property Manager (not a leasing agent). The apartment manager is the only one that can bend any rules.
2) Dress for success. If you go in polished and well dressed, that will better your chances of getting approved. First impressions count!
3) Show good faith. If you can, try to make some sort of restitution with the past rental property even if it is only a small amount every month. This is considered an act of "good faith" and most times properties will make allowances for that.
4) Be prepared. Bring any paperwork and documentation you might have regarding your apartment rental history including letters from apartment complex owners or apartment managers and include the status of any unpaid balances. If you are self-employed, be prepared to bring W-9, pay stubbs, or bank account records proving that you are financially able to pay your apartment rent. And, bring your drivers license or pertinent ID. You might also be asked to pay a double deposit at the apartment complex.
5) Take what you can get. If an apartment complex manager is kind enough to make allowances for you, grab it while you can. Just remember that the most important thing you can do right now is prove good apartment rental history. Once you get some good rental under your belt, that will open better possibilities for renting an apartment down the road.
6) Sign an apartment lease term of 12 months or more. This is the minimum you will need to prove consistent, good rental. This will also ensure that you are locked into a low rental rate without getting an increase at six months into your lease. And, please don't ever be late on your payments!
7) Smile and keep a positive attitude. People in general are always more receptive to smiling, happy faces.
8) Don't get discouraged if you get turned away at the first apartment complex. Almost all properties have policies prohibiting leasing an apartment to individuals with bad rental. However, reduced occupancy in apartment complexes all over town is in YOUR favor and you just never know who will make an exception for the right person - YOU!
Try to keep your chin up and hit the streets! Stay in touch with your Renters Resource locator and they can help guide you along this difficult path. Good luck!