The answer, in most cases, is yes, a landlord will check your credit before considering you for an apartment or home.
If credit is a problem when applying for an apartment, you may want to look at alternatives. After all, an apartment manager is looking to make money and needs to be relatively sure that any tenant is going to be able to pay the rent, as they have agreed to. They want to know if the person applying for the apartment is credit worthy and not a high risk for paying rent.
Many apartment complexes will hire an outside agency to handle rentals and they have a much higher standard of rules for allowing in new tenants. They are less likely to make exceptions if the tenant does have some credit issues and can deny the application absolutely if it doesn’t meet all the criteria listed for rental acceptance.
Tips If You Do Have Bad Credit
If you can’t find an apartment where there is no credit checks required for rental, you can try to talk to the landlord to explain your situation. If, for example, you are currently living in an apartment and you’ve paid all your rent on time, you could bring a letter from your current landlord stating that you’ve paid rent on time, etc. This may help the new landlord make an exception in your case although it may cost you more up front in the way of security or extra prepaid rent.
You can also try and get letters of recommendation from friends, past landlords and even employers.
If you take the time to try and talk to the landlord, explaining whatever the credit issue is that you have, you may be able to sway the landlord into taking a chance on you. Anything positive you can bring in to the meeting will be beneficial. Dress well and be prompt; this will also be something the landlord is looking at.
Another option is to get a cosigner if your credit isn’t good enough. The cosigner will have to meet the credit standards the landlord is looking for so that he would approve your request. Just remember, if you get a cosigner to sign your rental application for you, that cosigner is as responsible for the rent as you are. If you don’t pay, they can go after the cosigner as well and depending who cosigned for you, this could present a whole different set of problems, not the least of which is finding another place to live.
Landlords are human too and they will listen to a point, so if you are there to discuss credit issues with them, make sure you can show them that you are, or have been, working on the credit problem. They will see you are concerned and working on correcting the situation. Again, any kind of statement you can bring into the conversation will be helpful, so round up all the help you can get.