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What is Second Chance Leasing?

Buzzle Staff Jan 13, 2019
Second chance leasing is a strategy by means of which a prospective renter is able to rent a house in spite of having a bad rent history. Read on to know about the working and benefits of opting for such a program.

Quick Tip

While looking out for a second chance leasing apartment, prepare a letter or document that explains your financial state or background and the reasons for your non-alluring rent record. This will prompt the landlord to give you more leeway while considering you as a prospective tenant.
When a person searches for rented accommodation, there are a number of formalities he has to take care of. Paying the rent is just a part of it, what improves your standing and credibility for your bank and landlord is how diligently you follow the conditions that were agreed upon.
This includes taking good care of the house, paying the full rent on time, without any delay, staying out of legal trouble, etc.
If you are unable to pay rent due to certain financial difficulties or some other issue, and such a situation persists for a while, among the other unpleasant consequences that you may face, garnering poor rental history will probably affect you the most.
Consequently, you may face considerable difficulty while searching for another rented apartment. Your poor rental history will make it tough for house owners or landlords to trust you, no matter what. For such people, the second chance rental programs are an alternative solution.

Why Do You Need the Program?

As a tenant, you will be eligible under this strategy if you fall into one or more of the given categories.


You fall into this category if you have been evicted from the house. The reason could range from bad behavior, manner of conduct, to not paying rent, no house maintenance, your involvement with the law, etc.
Obviously, your landlord wouldn't want to be associated with you, and you can get evicted. And then, even if you decide to turn over a new leaf, it is going to be difficult for people to trust you again.

Rent Problems

If you have not paid rent since a long time, or you have been inconsistent with your payments, or you have been paying lesser than what you are supposed to pay, you fall into this category.

Moving Out

If, for whatever reason, you have moved out of the house, without prior notice or informing anyone, you fall under this category. This kind of behavior may not be viewed favorably, as it indicates your careless attitude and lack of seriousness.

Broken Lease

If you have broken your lease without appropriate reason, you fall under this category. This kind of behavior completely blacklists your credit score.
Not only this, if there were stipulated conditions in your lease agreement regarding the consequences of you breaking your lease, it is likely that you will be facing them too. In such a situation, opting for a second chance leasing program is the best or only option.


  • Even though this program is designed to provide renters a second chance, it requires them to fulfill certain conditions.
  • To begin with, landlords would like to see genuine good behavior (if you have had a bad past record) and faith on your part.
  • As a tenant, you will need a decent payment plan or at least something that indicates that you will be able to pay your debts.
  • In case you had broken your earlier lease, some landlords might want you to pay a higher initial deposit.
  • If you have not been consistently paying your earlier rent, you might have a agree to various conditions in your new agreement. In case of non-fulfillment of those conditions, you may face legal action.

How Does It Work?

  • This program works very much like a normal rental program.
  • First, find a second chance apartment. Next, talk to the concerned authorities.
  • There are exceptions to certain rules, and as stated earlier, you will have to fulfill certain requirements.
  • You will need to explain the reason for your bad credit history.
  • If you have been through financial problems, you will need to assure the home owner that you will be able to cover your expenses and be back on track as soon as possible.
  • If you have been evicted, you may have to admit that it was a mistake, and that you have learned your lesson.
  • Most important of all, if you have a criminal or police record, you may have to agree to certain other conditions in the contract.
  • Once the papers have been drawn up, arrange the funds to pay for your deposit.
  • You will need to document some good references and submit them for later.
  • You will have to maintain a good rapport with your landlord as well as your neighbors.
  • You will have to find ways to repair your credit history.


For Landlords

  • You will have a tenant who is extra cautious about paying the complete rent on time.
  • He will also work extra hard to maintain the house.
  • If he has been through a financial crisis, he will be better-informed about the market condition.
  • He will be completely responsible and alert about his behavior. Perhaps, he will not be the kind of tenant who creates a ruckus in the night, disturbing neighbors, and causing other types of harassment.

For Tenants

  • You will have a roof over your head, to begin with.
  • You will learn to be more responsible and overcome hurdles.
  • You will have the opportunity to repair your bad rental score and prove yourself to be a good tenant.
  • You will obtain a chance to redeem your lost self-respect.
  • If you live harmoniously, without causing any trouble, for a period of time, eventually, you will build a very good lease record, and this will help you get through easily for your next rental agreement or even a mortgage, if you plan to buy a house.

Essential Tips

  • When you meet the landlords for the first time, dress appropriately. A good first impression can work wonders, it will convey sincerity to the landlord even though you might have a negative credit rating.
  • Submit a copy of your credit report and other financial documents so that your landlord has a correct idea of your current financial position.
  • Find a co-signer for your lease agreement.
  • Do not hesitate to pay a higher initial security deposit.
  • Submit copies of good referrals.
  • Be polite and courteous.
The program is called second chance leasing, because it offers tenants a second chance to rent a home, to improve their credit rating, and most importantly, to become more responsible and law-abiding citizens. Finding second chance apartments may not seem easy, it may take a while to find out the right agents and the right places.
And even after that, it can be quite a task to convince the prospective landlord. It can also be difficult to build trust and goodwill again. However, for a tenant in search of a second chance, it will all be worth it, for he/she will have learned his lessons in life and will want to get back to being a responsible citizen.