Sometimes life deals you a blow, and you find yourself being evicted from an apartment or a house. It might be due to unemployment or mounting bills, but whatever the reason, you might feel like it could be impossible to rent an apartment again. While it is true that that eviction will stay on your record for a long time, it is possible to rebuild your finances and rent an apartment again.

The first thing you can do is to work with your prior landlord and apologize. Try to work out a payment plan with him or her to pay off what you owe, and ask that they remove your negative credit report entry once you have satisfied the debt. As with any payment agreement, make sure this is in writing and that you keep receipts of each payment. The sooner you can act on the back payments and get them resolved, the better off you will be and the less likely it is the landlord will try to punish you by keeping the information in your record.

Once you have worked things out with your former landlord, ask for a reference, particularly if you were otherwise a good tenant. He or she can tell your future landlords such things as you were responsible, quiet, and not likely to damage the property.

You may be able to get a personal reference from an employer, a volunteer coordinator, or a colleague – someone who can attest to your character. This can go a long way toward proving to your future landlord that you are worth taking a risk on.

For a time, while you are trying to clear up your credit history, you may have to have a co-signer go with you to sign the lease. That gives future landlords the confidence that the lease or rent will be paid, whether by you or by your co-signer. You can start to make a fresh start by ensuring that you are the one who makes the payment every month. Your co-signer may be a relative or a friend, so long as they are trustworthy and financially responsible.

You may also need to stay with family or friends while you pay back your old debts and rebuild your credit. This will give you some time to build your score, and even add some money back into savings. While you are there, make sure that you are paying all of your bills on time every month, so your entire credit score can be built.

Smaller rental landlords can make more personal decisions than large complex landlords are able to. They can take those reference letters and your personal interview into account better. They might not also run the same kind of credit check that large corporate owners will. They may want a larger deposit or first/last month’s rent ahead of time, but it is a viable way to start over.

It will take some work on your part, but it is possible to rent again after an eviction. Be diligent, be willing to getting ahead of your past, and be honest with your future landlords, and you can have your own apartment again.