If you are one of the many people in West Virginia with a criminal history, you might wonder how to best go about finding a house or an apartment to rent as you look to rebuild your life.

ApartmentGuide.com indicates that while most landlords conduct background checks prior to approving rental applications, your criminal past need not prevent you from finding a new place to call home.

Create personal connections

Property management companies may be bound by stricter rules that could preclude your ability to be approved for a rental. Working with a landlord-owner directly may increase your chance of being approved. You can directly meet and talk with the property owner, giving them the chance to experience your character firsthand. This may well increase their willingness to work with you.

Focus on your positive qualifications

Without hiding your criminal past, you should highlight other factors that mean a lot to a landlord. For example, openly share details about your job and income so the owner feels confident in your ability to pay the rent on time. Explain how your life has changed and moved away from situations that may result in future criminal activity. You may also discuss how you like to keep a home clean and organized, so the landlord trusts that you will take good care of the home or apartment.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in West Virginia with criminal histories some ideas about how they may approach their search for an apartment or a home to rent.