I may be able to help you clean up your credit .
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Most landlords will be willing to listen to an explanation clarifying the negative items on your credit report, if you have legitimate reasons and you are working to resolve them. I would also provide extensive references and also a personal letter along with your applications explaining your situation. At the end of the day, it's really up to the individual owner and how much risk he/she is willing to accept.
Additionally, if you have some money saved - I would explore the option of a larger security deposit, or possible "pre-paying" 3-6 months in advance.
Hope this helps!
It really depends on a number of factors. You say you have poor credit, does that include previous landlords? A good reference from your current and or previous rentals could be the difference makers.
Each landlord decides what they find acceptable. Some may not consider anyone with a blemish on their credit while others may be more flexible. You might look into section 8 for assistance; this is a program to help people in positions like yours. Best of luck.