Your rental history is something a potential landlord will check when you fill out an application to rent at their property. The rental check is the most important part of the entire application process because this gives the apartment leasing agent the opportunity to learn how you treated your previous rentals. Did you follow your rental contract as you had agreed to? Did you have any disagreements with your neighbors? Did you take good care of your apartment and leave it in good condition when you moved out?
The first thing a potential landlord is going to be looking through your rental history for is to be sure you don't owe a previous property any money. They also want to be sure there weren't any contractual problems, that you gave proper notice to move out, paid your rent on time, etc. Potential landlords want to be sure you followed property rules as well.
If you have skeletons in your rental history closet, your options on what apartments you can rent are severely limited. You are left in the position of trying to find a manager or management company that is more lenient that other management companies. A bad rental history limits your options and you may be unable to rent at complexes you really like because they are unwilling to accept applicants with tarnished rental histories. Some managers may accept an additional deposit if your rental history is less than stellar.
If an apartment complex does overlook your previous rental history and the negative aspects of it and you are accepted, this will not affect your lease at all or where you are allowed to go on the property. You will still have a standard residential lease.
If are accepted, treat this lease very very well. You are basically getting a second chance. The good news is that if you take good care of this lease by paying your rent on time, giving proper notice when it is time to move out, and keeping the unit in good condition, there are other management companies that will see how well you did and give you a chance at their property. Your most recent rental is the most important, so treating a new lease well can really turn around your rental history.