I think number one is be honest about your situation. Accept responsibility for the decisions you have made in the past. As a Realtor I do a credit check and a criminal background check on people. I always say, "no one likes surprises." If there is anything that is going to show up on either it is better to know upfront. I've owned my own investment properties for over 20 years and have rented to folks with not great credit. People need a place to live--period...it is a need not a want. I believe in giving people a chance. Making sure you have paid your rent on time on previous situations helps with the landlord check. At the end of the day it is up to the property owner--help us plead your case by being honest from the beginning.