I am moving to the Dallas area and I have a bankruptcy on my credit report, are there landlords that will accept me and my family to rent from them?

Asked by Tammylewis26, Minneapolis, MN Fri Apr 5, 2013

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Rustin Polk’s answer
Rustin Polk, , Dallas, TX
Thu Apr 11, 2013
Credit is only one of the landlord's considerations in making a rental. They consider criminal backgrounds, having a steady job, etc.

I'm a Dallas bankruptcy attorney and out of the 1,500 cases I've handled, I don't think I've ever had a client turned away from renting a place because of their bankruptcy.

If someone is turned down for an apartment based on their credit, it's because of a low overall FICO or Beacon score. Your bankruptcy probably raised your credit score, not lowered it. If your credit held you back from an apartment now, it would be because of other issues on the credit report rather than just the simple fact that you filed a bankruptcy case at one point.

An apartment complex is not the only way to go, of course. There are around 2,500 houses on the foreclosure list every month. Even more if you count the surrounding areas and not just Dallas County itself. After each monthly foreclosure sale, there are tons of new properties available for rent. That's in addition to the rental homes that already existed.

Some of these rent houses are managed by a professional property management company, where there will be a formal application process and a look at the credit report. The mere fact of the bankruptcy should not influence the decision although the overall credit score will.

Other of these rent houses are owned by individuals who know the amount of rent they'd like to receive but do not have a formal application process. They won't bother to even pull the credit report. In fact, individual landlords don't have any way to legally get their hands on one (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion don't just hand out your credit report to individuals who call them and ask for it. That's illegal under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act). Even if you sign an Authorization allowing them to look at your credit report, they still don't have a way to legally pull it. There's a whole licensing procedure for that and individuals don't qualify.

The Dallas housing market is very diverse. There are rentals available for a wide range of prices, for all types of credit, in a broad range of locations. You're very smart for trying to get potential issues dealt with ahead of your big move, but I wouldn't worry too much about this part of it.

Rustin Polk
Dallas, TX
2 votes
T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Sun Apr 7, 2013
Some landlords can be convinced with additional security deposit. Some can't.

Please note the rental market is pretty tight right now and so landlords are much more selective - they can afford to be.

A steady job with some proof of stable income about 3 times your rent plus no criminal record will get you pretty far along.
1 vote
Dallas Home…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Fri Apr 5, 2013
Hi Tammy,

One of the things we recommend is to run your own credit to find out exactly what you have. Most landlords are looking for a good rental, stable income and good credit for last 2 years, however if you disclose upfront before applying for a place, most likely the listing agent will check with the landlord and give you the answer so you want have to spent appl fees. Get yourself a good leasing specialist that does mainly leases, they understand a process plus it is a free of service. Take advantage of it. Good luck! Mila
1 vote
Duong Nguyen, Agent, Richardson, TX
Fri Apr 5, 2013
Be upfront with your realtor and offer double security deposit in the application to entice landlord approval. If your goss income is at least 3 times the rent and your obligation to pay (all monthly credit card minimum payment, student loan payments, car payments, etc. plus the rent) to income ratio is less than 45%, most landlords that I dealt with would accept you. If you offer 2.5 month rent for deposit, I am sure you will get in. Good luck!
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Fri Apr 5, 2013
~ I Specialize in Dallas Rentals & Apartment Locator

You can anticipate at least double deposits when leasing with a BK on reports.

Contact my office today where I can show you many amazing homes work with your family specifications.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant
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http://www.lynn911.com 100's of Dallas homes listed for sale or lease

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0 votes
Shelly Koehl…, Agent, Southlake, TX
Fri Apr 5, 2013
Each property or landlord has their own criteria. You would just want to ask that question prior to paying any application fees to be sure it wouldn't be an automatic denial. Everything is relevant and will probably depend on time since, re-establishment etc. but again, up to the owner of the property.
0 votes
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