Legal Issues & Renting

What does a divorce mean for future renting opportunities?

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When a couple goes through the legal process of divorcing, it can raise questions of how the divorce will affect both people’s rental history reports. The answers all depend on what kind of history both individuals have prior to the divorce, and what agreements are made during the divorce proceedings.

For example, if both people signed leasing documents during the marriage, they both will have rental history reports made in each name. And if they were evicted or fined by landlords during that time, that information could appear in both their reports. However, if one person is arrested, declares bankruptcy or has a low credit score due to not paying bills on time, only that spouse’s rental history report will reflect that information.

If the lease agreement won’t expire for some time, during the divorce proceedings the couple should come to a rental agreement on who will continue to live in the apartment, and how the rent will be paid through the end of the lease.

However, if only one member of the couple puts their name in the lease, it could leave the other spouse without any rental history information once the divorce goes through. In a situation like this, the spouse might be interested in getting a referral from the previous landlord attesting that he was a good renter, even if his name wasn’t on the lease agreement.

In cases where the couple owned a home, and one person plans to move out into a rental unit during the divorce proceedings, landlords will probably do a verification of rental history prior to agreeing to rent the unit.

The divorce won’t change any information on the rental history report, but the person might want to review the report to ensure that all other information is accurate.