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How to rent a new place when my old landlord HATES me?

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How to rent a new place when my old landlord HATES me?

Postby jengrowsinbklyn » Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:45 pm

Overall I'm a great tenant: female, early 30s, no pets or kids, great credit, regular income, nothing iffy on my record. The one thing striking fear into my heart is that I'm about to move to a city where virtually every landlord will call up former landlords for a reference, and I know that my most recent landlord completely hates me.

This is due in large part to the fact that I had him to use my security deposit as the last month's rent when I moved out. (The deposit was equal to the rent, apartment was left in good shape.) The guy harassed me for over a month after I did this, but couldn't take me to court or anything to me because the apartment was actually illegal.

It wasn't until after I signed a lease that I learned the landlord was unbelievably shady and greedy. I have documentation that the apartment wasn't legal and that he broke rent stabilization laws. (We had LOTS of other problems with him besides that, too.) I didn't trust him to refund a dime of my security deposit, and was also moving 700 miles away, which would've made taking him to court pretty much impossible, so I didn't pay the last month's rent. Anyway, I've learned my lesson and will always research a management company as much as possible before renting so that I can have a good relationship w/the landlord.

Other than this guy, I don't have a lot of rental history that was in my name. The last time I was on a lease before this was about 10 years ago & I have absolutely no idea if this guy remembers me or what he might say.

Obviously my concern is: how do I convince a future landlord that I actually am a good tenant in spite of this? Is offering to pay a larger security deposit, or to pay my last month's rent and security deposit when I move in, likely to help? Is there any chance that a landlord/mgmt company will agree that the old landlord was a schmuck and rent to me based on all the other items I have to recommend me? How do I explain this situation to a potential new landlord? Thank you for any and all advice on this!
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:42 am

Overall, there's really nothing you can do to prevent the old LL from saying what he wants. You could offer to put in a rebuttal, but IMHO that would complicate things. Besides, most LL's don't ask for a rebuttal. It's not a question of being taken to court for non-payment or being labeled a dead-beat.

There are still many small buildings owned by an individual, not a corporation, where they might not look beyond a credit report (or even that).

In the old days people would knock on doors, talk to supers, get a friend to tell you when units opened up. I presume that can still happen. And yes, supers still demand key money (although that's illegal). If that happens see if they will accept a check.

I would check my credit report to see if the LL put anything on that, and I would rebut that. There are plenty of web sites to advise on on how to handle bad credit reports.
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