It’s every renter’s worst nightmare—you’ve been handed an eviction notice from your landlord and you need to move out.
‘Help! I got evicted and have nowhere to go’, you may be thinking. Being evicted is an upsetting and challenging time in your life, but the good news is that you will get through it.
If you’re wondering where to go next, keep reading for our top seven tips on how to get back on your feet and find a new home, even after you’ve been evicted.
1. I Got Evicted and Have Nowhere to Go! Staying Safe Is the First Priority
Dealing with an eviction can be an extremely stressful situation for anyone. If you’re leaving your apartment and you have nowhere to go, your first priority should always be the safety of yourself, your family, and any pets.
If you’re in a position to contact family or friends and ask if you can stay with them for a few days while you figure out what to do, that may be a good option.
Or, depending on your finances, you may want to book a hostel, hotel, or home rental for a few weeks while you search for a new place to live.
However, many people end up being evicted due to their finances. In that case, find a safe shelter where you can stay for the time being.
There are shelters all over the country that will give you a secure, warm, place to stay in a time of need.
2. Be Honest with Future Landlords
You may be nervous when applying for a new place to live, due to your previous rental history. However, honesty is always the best policy.
There are many reasons for tenant eviction, and many landlords will be sympathetic and understanding of your situation, as most of us have gone through hard times and can relate.
On rental applications, don’t try to hide the fact that you were evicted. Instead, explain on the application or directly to the real estate agent or landlord about why you were evicted and the story behind it.
3. Get Your Finances in Order
If your eviction was based on your inability to pay rent, you may need to come up with a new plan for your finances.
Finding a new job may be a priority if you’re not currently working. Or, if you were struggling to pay rent on your current income, picking up a second job may give you more wiggle room in your monthly budget.
Looking for an apartment with a lower monthly rental cost could be a good choice as well.
4. Line Up References
When renting an apartment, the application will ask for references. Generally, this means both personal and professional references—people who know you well and can speak to your character.
Before putting in applications for rentals, reach out to individuals who you think might give you a good reference. Then, ask them if they would be ok to be listed.
No one likes a surprise phone call, so always get permission before listing anyone as your reference.
5. Stay Calm
Knowing how to handle an eviction notice isn’t easy. When you find out you need to leave your home, you may feel scared, angry, stressed, and confused.
While these feelings are completely normal, the best course of action is to stay calm. Getting angry at your landlord isn’t going to change anything.
Remember, you will find a new place and things will get better! It may take time, but keeping a positive attitude and being optimistic will make the process much easier.
6. Improve Your Credit
Many rental agencies will run a credit check when you apply for an apartment, which can be challenging if you defaulted on rent payments in the past.
It can take time, but you can improve your credit score over time, which can make you more favorable to landlords. To do this, try to pay bills on time, pay off outstanding debts, and limit applications for new credit cards unless absolutely necessary.
If your credit isn’t amazing and you need to find a rental asap, you can instead offer to show proof of funds to pay rent. Taking on a new tenant is a gamble, and landlords want to make sure you’re capable of paying rent each month.
You can do this by showing bank account details, confirming employment and income, or having another person, such as a parent, step in as a guarantor.
7. Consider Renting a Room from Friends or Family
If you’ve been evicted, you may be finding it hard to find a new apartment, even with the tips above.
In this situation, you may want to approach friends or family to see if you could rent a spare room from them for a few months. This way, you won’t need to go through the rental application process.
By paying monthly rent for the room rental, the person you’re renting from can later act as a referee for you, confirming that you’ve been paying rent on time and have been a good tenant.
This situation may not be for everyone, but if you have someone in your life who is willing to help you out in this way, it can help you get back on your feet.
Get Through the Eviction Process With the Tips Above
It can be very frightening when you realize ‘I got evicted and have nowhere to go’, but it isn’t the end of the world.
While things may be tough for a few weeks or months, you can use the tips above to get back on your feet and find a new place to live.
With patience, determination, and honesty, you can find a new apartment and landlord who will be glad to rent to you, even if your rental history isn’t perfect. Soon, you’ll be in your new apartment and back on track.
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