When you recover from drug or alcohol addiction, there are a variety of highs and lows you will encounter. The excitement of reclaiming your independence and starting your life with a clear head can fill you with hope and joy. On the other hand, you can’t escape the mistakes of the past– including financial ones. Many people going through recovery find themselves in debt. Once they leave treatment, that debt can make it difficult to find a new place to live if needed.

Your Rental History and You

When you apply for a new apartment or rental property, your landlord will look at your rental history first. Landlords use rental histories to try and predict what kind of tenant you will be. Generally, landlords and property owners want three things from a renter:

  • A solid employment history
  • A good credit rating
  • A positive rental history

If you have a history of paying rent late, bouncing checks, damaging property, or some other transgression, it will make it that more difficult to find a place. If you struggle with one or more of the things a landlord looks for, it may help if you are set with another factor. For instance, if you have a shaky rental history and mediocre credit score, it may ease a landlord’s worries if you can prove you have a stable job and find a roommate with a better rental history to split rend with.

The Benefits of a Roommate

Depending on where you live, a roommate may be financially necessary. For a one-bedroom apartment, the national average for rent is $892. For workers making minimum wage, it is impossible to meet that price monthly while maintaining a decent quality of life. Splitting rent with a roommate can bring those costs down. While going through recovery, you don’t want financial stresses to bring you down and distract you from work. Additionally, if you have bad credit or debts, you will need the extra income to help you get back on your feet.

Additionally, a roommate can be good for your recovery journey. Finding a sober roommate can help provide a sense of community. Together you can find safe activities to do in your free time and you can trust that neither of you will bring temptation into the home. Roommates In Sobriety is a free resource for people looking to connect with other addicts as possible living companions.

Location, Location, Location

When finding a rental property, it’s important to be very cautious when picking a neighborhood. You want to find an area where rent is affordable enough, but it’s also important to take transportation costs into consideration. If you find cheap rent but you’ll be paying the difference in transportation costs to work or school, it may behoove you to pay a bit extra and save yourself the commute.

Your new place needs to be near other necessities such as grocery stores. If you have a preferred location for addiction therapy or a recovery group, it’s a good idea to live close by so you can’t make excuses to skip. Finally, if you have old hangouts that could potentially trigger you to drink or use drugs, find a place that helps you avoid them so you can move on with your life without unnecessary temptation.


Recovery takes planning and persistence. When you leave treatment and enter back into the “real world,” it can be difficult to find a new place if you have problems with your credit score, rental history, or employment. A roommate may help offset some of your shortcomings while helping you lower costs. A sober roommate gives you an at-home support system that facilitates recovery. Finally, when picking a new place it’s important to find the perfect location that has necessities close by and temptations far away to help you move forward in your sober life.

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