Question: I am moving and need to rent a new apartment in a new city and province. I’ve been in an apartment for 5 and a half years now and I never missed a payment. I applied at several apartments and I’ve been refused every time because of the credit check. I have sufficient income and I have excellent references. It doesn’t seem to make a difference with the landlords. I need to find an apartment now and I can’t get one. What should I do?
Renting Apartment after a Bankruptcy or Consumer Proposal
When you apply to rent an apartment in any province or city, whether Toronto Ontario or Edmonton, Alberta your landlord will likely run a credit check and review your credit report. Unfortunately many landlords will not rent to you if there is anything negative on your credit report, including a past bankruptcy.
You have three possible options.
First, talk to the landlord and plead your case. Mention that due to past financial circumstances you needed to file for bankruptcy but that you are now on stronger financial footing. Provide evidence that you are able to pay your bills on time. That may include a letter from your bankruptcy trustee showing that you made all your bankruptcy payments in full and on time or perhaps from your previous landlord. Some property managers may rent to you if you can prove you have paid your bills on time since the bankruptcy filing. Tell them that you have your deposit for first and last month’s rent.
A second option is to ask if you can apply for a short term rental to prove your ability to pay your rent on time. Suggest a 3 or 6 month trial rental period.
If that doesn’t work, you may need to rent from a landlord that doesn’t do credit checks. Instead of renting in a big apartment building owned by a corporation, try to rent a basement apartment owned by the homeowner who is probably more interested in first and last month’s rent and your past history of payment than they are in your credit report.
Although it does not seem to help right now, bankruptcy is automatically removed from your credit report six years after you are discharged, so your problem will eventually resolve itself.