6 Ways for People with Evictions to Find Housing
The process of Eviction
Having a eviction on your record can make finding a new home more difficult for tenants to find current permanent housing, but with knowledge of resources and available options to you it might be possible to find housing.
What is an Eviction?
An eviction is the legal process in which landlords use in order to legally remove tenants from their rental unit. There are many legal reasons landlords can evict or remove tenants from their rental property which include any damage to the property, failure to pay rent on time, or breaking any rules as described in the rental agreement.
However there are times where landlords evict tenants for unlawful and personal reasons,which usually only occurs when you are renting through a private homeowner.
Evictions usually show up on your credit report and background check between 30-60 days after the eviction has been filed with the courts, and will stay on your credit report for SEVEN years. In some instances you may have your eviction expunged or removed from your record if you believe you received an eviction for unlawful reasons.
Before the final paperwork has been filed and the eviction goes on your record, there are a few actions you can take before the eviction process is complete, so continue reading to find out your available options.
Actions to take BEFORE the Eviction takes place;
1. Locate a place to stay immediately
Locating a nice place to stay can be a daunting and lengthy process, but if you can find housing in an apartment(which is much easier to locate than private owned homes) complex and get your background check submitted for verification before the eviction process begins, your chances of getting approved are increased significantly.
2. Start building your savings
If you come to the point where you are unsuccessful in locating a home before the eviction process is complete, you should begin saving IMMEDIATELY! There are a lot of private owners or commercial apartment complexes that will allow tenants with evictions to rent a unit if a tenant can pay a higher deposit and/or rental fees.
The more money you have to offer as down payments, the more likely landlords will be willing to work with you, so beginning to save immediately allows you to have a greater chance at finding a place to stay.
Steps to take AFTER the Eviction is processed;
1. Contact he property management company of the apartment complex or the landlord and do one of the following;
1a. Ask the landlord are there any possibilities of removing the eviction from your record and explain the circumstances of situation, apologize for inconvenience and ask how you can correct the problem.
1b. Make payment arrangements or pay the owed balance in full and ask for documentations verifying each payment. Make sure everything is in writing when you and the landlord reach an agreement as well as receipts for each payment until the final amount owed is satisfied.
2. Look for old apartment complexes / private owned properties
If you have a hard time finding permanent housing, finding private owned homes might be a good idea because you are able to negotiate and explain the circumstances regarding your situation. The older private properties are, the more likely they do not have strict rental guidelines like modern rental complexes require for tenancy.
A good place to start is to visit the historic or " old town" parts of your community and browse around and/or do a google search for properties built in the 1960's or prior.
Just a word of caution, the older homes built before the 1970's have lead based paint, which causes lead poisoning in young children. Lead poisoning often causes a delay of childhood development, so if there are younger children living in your home you can prevent leadpoisoning by;
A. Keeping all window seals cleaned of all loose wood chips that young children put in their mouths
3. County Assistance Programs
The county you currently live in ( or want to move to) can be a very huge assistance tool in obtaining tenancy. You can start by visiting your local department of human services location and and inquire about available community resources, and assistance programs they offer currently.
There are income restrictions for certain programs and you will have to verify your eligibility. After you have located the office near you and decided to apply remember to bring;
- income statement( such as awards letter, pay stubs )
- your government issued ID and social
- children are under 6 yrs old they will need current immunization records)
If you and your household have zero income, you will definitely qualify to receive benefits ( medical, cal fresh/ food assistance and cash aid). As of today in CA ,if you are a single household your monthly cannot exceed $636 per month and for a family of 2 your income cannot exceed $991per month, for a family of 3 your income cannot exceed $1,227, and a family of four members cannot exceed $1,458 in monthly income in order to be eligible to receive full benefits.
If you and your family meet eligibility for government assistance you can apply for the HSP( home support program) in which the county will pay for the costs of your 1st months rent and rental deposit once you locate housing in addition to ( medical, food, and cash aid).
However, your rent for your desired place of tenancy cannot exceed your monthly income and the agency will even pay for hotel stay for up to 16 days until you are successful in finding permanent residency.
If for some reason you do not qualify the county can still assist you by providing you with a homeless verification certificate once you complete a class about rental information and also give you a list of community resources in your area.
A majority of the time, when you visit your local government assistance office information about classes, job postings and community resources are available in the lobby area.
4. Non- Profit Organizations
There are quite a few non- profit organizations that offer housing assistance programs and or shelter programs for homeless individuals and families, but to find the most accurate resources in your area you will need to visit your local department of human assistance office in order to get a copy of available resources in your city/ state.
A few other good places to start looking for shelter programs are;
A. Salvation Army
D. Churches in your area
Again, these are just a few to start with, but it is very important that you do your research about available community resources in your area to be able to find a program that can assist you in finding a place to live.
5. Room Mate
If you are not able to obtain housing individually, you might want to consider a roommate situation. You can try looking for people who are seeking roommates by:
- asking family and friends for referrals or for room vacancies in their homes
- Searching websites like craigslist.org under the housing section
- contact local community resources such as churches
- look for " live in care positions" or " live in property manger" positions.In live-in employment opportunities, in some situations you will receive all or portion of rent to be "bartered " or traded for care in caregiving positions.
In property manager positions, compensation is paid by receiving a rental unit in exchange for your job duties. A good place to start looking for such opportunities is to visit craigslist.org and enter each position title into the search bar.
By room mating with someone, you can cut down on other costs, so that you can concentrate on correcting your eviction status, even though it might not be ideal to live with someone else.
6. Hiring a Professional
I have not tried using this service myself, but have heard of many people talking about such services. Hiring a professional property locator might be a good idea to consider if you are unsuccessful in finding a place to call your own on your own and have no other options. Some companies offer " sliding scale " pricing, or pricing based on your income.
A good place to start looking for apartment locating services is the yellowpages book in your area and/ or a internet search of apartment locators in your area.
Final tips to consider to improve chances of finding housing:
- Attend a community class/ program such as " ready to rent" class
- Show verification of your willingness to improve your credit situation bysetting up payment arrangements to satisfy the debt, writing a letter apologizing and asking is there any volunteer work around the property you can do,etc
- Be PERSISTENT to locate a place for you and your family to reside inthe key to success in any situation is persistence. You should be actively looking EVERYDAY for housing, until you find a situation you are comfortable with.
- Be strong know that even though times may be tough at the moment, you still have everything you need to change your current situation and that anything is possible(I should know I have been in this situation myself). Good luck!
What steps have you taken yourself or heard of someone else taking to getting out of a homeless situation?