Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 10 months ago

Please be nice. How can someone successfully apply for an apartment living on social security with a felony record that's almost 7 years?

I live in the state of New Jersey which has been in a housing crisis for awhile now. Since I was released from state prison, I have not been mentally or physically capable of getting a job right now to increase my income. Since I got released from state prison at the end of 2016, I have been denied from every apartment agency and private landlord I have tried to rent from.

Either because of them running a background check or telling me that my income doesn't qualify. Most of the time I don't even here back from them, whether it's through an agency or a private landlord. I am on a ton of waiting lists for income-based housing but I just keep getting renewal letters telling me that it will be more time before they even call me in to evaluate me (and that's if they accept me by the time this happens). I have been living with relatives and temporarily out of motels which do not run background or credit checks.

I have a misdemeanor of resisting arrest on foot in 2012 and then a 3rd degree felony resisting arrest by motor vehicle through multiple counties in 2013. In 2013, I broke my last apartment lease because I went to county jail. I haven't acquired any new charges since then.

My credit score is okay. I got my driver's license restored and I own a car. I have been in treatment with a psychiatrist since I got released and found a medication that works without side-effects. I recently managed to get all the internet articles and mugshots of myself removed from the internet.


Yes eventually ( maybe in a year or two) I think I will be capable of getting a part-time job. I would also eventually be willing to move further south in New Jersey (right now I live in Central NJ) or to Delaware or Maryland where it is a lot cheaper to rent based on what I've seen on apartment-finder sites.

Update 2:

3rd poster. That is not true. There are rooms and efficiencies in Central NJ in relatively safe and desirable areas that are sometimes advertised as low as $550 through $750 per month. Apartments in safer areas can be advertised as low as $850 through $1300 right now and you normally have to make 2x or 2.5x the apartment rent. For some agencies it's 1.5x the apartment rent normally in less desirable areas. I have never seen apartment agency demand that I make 3x the cost of the monthly rent.

3 Answers

  • 10 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    With low income, a felony & a broken lease most landlords will not rent to you & there really is not much you can do about it. All you can do is search & apply until you find one willing to do it. Renting a room is probably your best bet. The places that will rent to you will not be the nicest or be in a good neighborhood.

  • 10 months ago

    If SS meets with the income requirements, it shouldn't be a problem but if you are not making 3 - 4 times the monthly rent, then you won't qualify financially. Further, landlords do not rent to felons. So you can forget that. They are liable to all of their tenants and they would be opening themselves to liability allowing a felon in the premises. I would suggest you keep yourself clean from now on and over time, prove yourself worthy of renting, although it won't matter to most landlords. They won't have you. Look in bad areas and you might find a desperate landlord.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience & with Landlord & Tenant law experience.
  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    Generally, you look to rent a room or share a home. without a job, there generally is not enough income to qualify for an apartment, and a felony record excludes you from most apartments.

    If you can get a job with income you stand a better chance.

    Possibly one day consider a move to a lower housing cost area.

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