Can You Rent a House With Bad Credit History?

May 2, 2022
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For many renters, the question “can I rent a house with bad credit” is a plaguing one.

Your credit score could have a significant impact on your ability to rent an apartment. Even if you have a flawless rental history and a decent salary, some landlords may reject your rental application if you have negative credit.

Others may merely look at your credit history to determine if you have a previous eviction or other rental-related blemish.

If you’re worried that a poor credit history may prevent you from renting a home, you can take one or more of the following steps to improve your chances of acquiring the rental unit you want.

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Do landlords run credit checks?

Landlords are known to ensure that potential tenants have a strong financial track record. This is because they want to trust that their prospective tenant can be trusted.  

Proof that you are capable of paying your rent on time is the single most important factor when it comes to applying to rent a home. Private landlords and property managers alike run credit history checks using agencies such as TICA.

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If your landlord or property manager is good at their job, they will either already have a subscription to make multiple checks, or they will pay for each check themselves.  

If you are wondering, can you rent a house with bad credit history, you must take into consideration how you compare to the previous tenants. A landlord or property manager will hardly ever lower their standards if other people have proven to meet them.  

This is not saying, though, that you are completely stumped

Why is it necessary to do a credit history check?

can you rent a house with bad credit history 

Rental credit checks can either reassure property managers or set off alarms in their heads, which typically leads to warning the landlord of the risks of accepting a potential tenant. This is why running credit checks are so important. 

Also, if you are trying to rent a house without a job, a good credit score might demonstrate that you’re still a responsible tenant.

Rather than asking yourself can you rent a house with bad credit history, try seeing it from the perspective of a landlord who hardly knows you. 

Poor credit shows them that you are not trustworthy when it comes to financial commitments. Not only can accepting someone with bad credit affect the landlord’s pockets, but it is also a stressful situation to be in. 

Property managers and landlords are seeking risk aversion as much as possible through the rental application process, so if you have shown signs that you will not be the most ideal tenant, they are likely to label you as a risk.  

Some people are prone to hide their financial difficulties on their rental applications, so running a credit check is necessary. 

How deep is the credit check?

There are such things as running a “soft” credit check versus running a “hard” credit check. The difference between the two may be what gets you your dream rental home or not. 

A “soft” check is just as you may expect. It is when private landlords and property managers look over your submitted paperwork, making decisions on their financial situation based on their application. 

On the other hand, a “hard” credit check for tenants involves an official look into their credit report. Although the tenant would need to grant them permission since it is counted in their credit score, rejecting to hard check will look highly suspicious to property managers and landlords. 

Ask yourself, can you rent a house with bad credit history, before diving into this process. If you are not prepared for a hard credit check in the near future, you may be in over your head. 

What to expect from the credit check

Can you rent a house with bad credit history? What is involved in a credit check? These are two valid questions to have when going into this process. 

If you are unaware of how in-depth a credit check can be, you may get overwhelmed. A credit check scans credit bureaus to take note of any bankruptcy information. 

Credit checks also inform a property manager if a person has been denied the ability to manage a business. These are important aspects of a person’s financial situation. 

A credit check will also pull out any court records or if you have been blacklisted on tenancy databases. This would only happen if you had a long history of not paying rent on time or disrespecting the property.

Lastly, a credit check can also let your prospective landlord know how many times your name has been searched on a database. If it has been a hot topic in a short period of time, this indicates that you have tried and failed multiple times, which is a red flag.   

can you rent a house with bad credit history 

Can a tenant object to the results?

So, the question is, do you have any power over the results of your credit check? The short answer is ‘yes.’  

A landlord has to inform a prospective tenant if their credit check brought up an issue of any kind. This is because if there is a valid reason why the issue exists, it can be thoroughly discussed between the two parties.

Valid reasons include an error, out-of-date information, or even an explanation of problems with a previous credit reference check. This can be addressed with the past landlord or the database company.

All in all, if you have a poor credit check, it does not mean you are automatically disqualified. It depends on the current market, past issues, and what your landlord values in a tenant.

If you have bad credit, you will need to provide accurate documentation to prove otherwise or be able to explain your situation better.  

Looking for your dream home? 

We can also help you out in that department. Browse our search page to check out some amazing listings available right now. But don’t just stop there, download our app to get the full Soho experience. Just remember to shortlist or swipe left on our listings so we can send you others that better match what you’re looking for.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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