One of the criteria apartment complexes use to qualify you for an apartment is criminal history. There are two types of criminal history, misdemeanor and felony. Apartment complexes will consider whether your crime is a misdemeanor or a felony, as well as the seriousness of the crime, when looking at your criminal history.
Typically, apartments are a lot more flexible with misdemeanors, but it really depends on the type of misdemeanor, A,B, or C. Generally, the more aggressive misdemeanors are going to be more difficult to place. Assaults are going to be difficult to place as well as some drug charges. DWI's and traffic violations don't really penalize you unless your DWI or DUI turns into a felony.
A lot of apartment complexes will work with non-aggressive misdemeanors, but they especially frown upon misdemeanors that include a crime against a person or property, including theft. Time plays a factor as well. If a misdemeanor is more than five or ten years old, most management companies will be more flexible with allowing someone to rent an apartment as long as they meet the other qualifying criteria. This is why it's really important that you talk to an apartment locator so they can place you at properties that will work with you.
Felonies can be a little bit trickier to work around. Only around one to two percent of the properties in Austin will work with a felony charge. Most of the properties that will work with a felony charge are really going to consider the age of the felony. Someone who has a twenty-year-old felony is still going to have a hard time finding a place to live, but you will have a few more options than someone with a much more recent felony. If ten years or longer has passed, there are quite a few management companies that will consider your application. However, sometimes if the felony is aggressive, like a felony assault, it will pose a problem no matter how much time has passed since conviction.
If you have any sort of criminal history in your background, it's best to divulge that to your apartment locator so they can help place you in the right place without wasting your time or your money on application fees.