Author Topic: Best Practices For Apartment Rental  (Read 558 times)

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delandra

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Best Practices For Apartment Rental
« on: August 09, 2017 05:18:37 PM »
Greetings all,

Trying to position myself to secure a new apartment lease when my current one expires, eight months from now, so I have time to be proactive.

Credit history:

Second Chapter 7 discharged in Dec 2013.  Rebuilding in progress, FICOs in 660-670 range, reports are accurate, in the process of trying to get old addresses and my ex's surname off Experian (already off TransUnion and Equifax), aside from that there's nothing to clean up.  All positive TLs since discharge.

Rental history:

Mostly private landlords, including my current landlord, and positive with all of them.  Current landlord will provide reference.  Hope to get one from my long standing (10+ years) landlord, assuming I can still contact her; she was quite old when I last saw her and may have passed away. :(

I did rent from a complex/management company during/after my divorce and used my Chapter 7 to break the lease with them.  I did not owe them more than a few days of unpaid rent, the lease breakage was done so I could move to a city with better job prospects and get away from my ex.  Left the keys with a surrender letter in their mailbox and filed the Chapter 7 a week later.  Left the place in good condition, ready for immediate re-rent.

I have requested copies of consumer reports from all of the tenant screening companies listed by the CFPB.  Only one has come back so far, Leasing Desk, no records found.  I assume the complex with the broken lease did not bother to report it, they were rather hands off, but requested the reports regardless so there are no rude surprises.

Questions for the brain trust:

  • What else can I do that I am not already doing?
  • What is the likelihood of a new complex taking the time to look at my bankruptcy papers?  They're obviously accessible on PACER and if examined would reveal the broken lease.  What I'm asking here is if I need to disclose that broken lease on an application or let sleeping dogs lie, assuming it doesn't show on any CRAs, which I don't believe it will.

fisthardcheese

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Re: Best Practices For Apartment Rental
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017 06:40:51 PM »
They aren't going to care about a broken lease that doesn't appear anywhere.  I would never offer up such info if my credit reports are clean.

Generally they don't search beyond credit reports.  My experience was that landlords generally used CoreLogic for rental pulls along with the major 3 CRAs.  Anything that is not on those reports does not generally become a factor.

11 Arb Settlements (9 AAA, 2 JAMS)
3 JDB Suits Dismissed With Prejudice (2 pro-se, 1 consumer atty)
3 TCPA Settlements (2 pro-se, 1 consumer atty)
2 FCRA Settlements (consumer atty)
1 FDCPA Settlement (w consumer atty)
1 Small Claims Win (pro-se; Landlord/state consumer law violations)
1 State UDAP Settlement (ITS)
1 Federal PTC Settlement (before hearing; pro-se)

delandra

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Re: Best Practices For Apartment Rental
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2017 10:45:43 PM »
CoreLogic's report was requested, via snail mail, so it will take a week or two to hear back.  I would be surprised if that complex bothered to report it, but anything is possible, and better to know now while I have time to deal with it.  I assume it's the same reporting period (~7 years) for derogatory information as "real" credit reports?

Assuming that all of the reports come back clean it should be reasonably safe not to disclose the broken lease on applications?  The address is gone from TransUnion and Equifax and will be gone from Experian before I apply, so they won't find it that way.

Seems like a reach to imagine someone going through my bankruptcy petition when I'm otherwise a good applicant with good references/history and solid credit since the bankruptcy discharge.

Out of curiosity, I may have my current landlady -- who knows the full history already -- call the old complex and ask for a reference, just to see what they'll say.  I doubt they'd bad mouth me too harshly, didn't stiff them for unpaid rent, and I left the place ready for immediate re-rental, which happened very quickly according to a neighbor.  To be honest I probably could (should) have explained the situation and negated the lease by mutual agreement, they were decent folks, but I was in a bad mental place with the divorce and wanted that part of my life in the rear view mirror ASAP. :(

Edited to add: Do broken leases get reported anywhere?  As I've gone through all of these websites to request copies of my reports they all seem to market an "eviction search" to landlords, which I presume means they're searching court records.  I wasn't evicted, I just walked away from the lease and surrendered the apartment to them. 
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017 10:55:37 PM by delandra »

Clydesmom66

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Re: Best Practices For Apartment Rental
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017 11:24:37 PM »
Seems like a reach to imagine someone going through my bankruptcy petition when I'm otherwise a good applicant with good references/history and solid credit since the bankruptcy discharge.

New landlords only care WHEN you filed BK and it was discharged.  They can tell if you would be eligible to file on them in a financially bad situation.  Beyond that they are not interested in the microspecifics of your filing.
Be VERY careful following advice from the internet! What worked for someone with thousands of posts on a message board may not work for YOU in your state.  Consult a lawyer when ever possible.

delandra

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Re: Best Practices For Apartment Rental
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017 01:05:21 AM »
My thought as well.  I am mostly going through these steps out of an abundance of caution.  Better safe than sorry as they say.

Found one consumer reporting agency (Real ID, Inc.) that wasn't listed in the CFPB document.  Know how I found them?  By looking through saved copies of my credit reports to see who pulled them when I signed the lease under discussion.

Moral of the story, it's always a good idea to save copies of your annual credit reports. :)