You sure can! It may be a bit more difficult to find a place that will rent to you than it otherwise would be, but be patient. Depending on the rental agency, you may be required to pay a higher security deposit or even be required to have a co-signer. It really depends on the rental agency.
There is a chance that you may have to apply to several places before you find one that works. When applying, be up front with the apartment complex or rental agency about the fact that you filed bankruptcy. This will help because then it will not be a surprise to them when they go to check your credit. You may want to try smaller complexes or even rentals from individuals. They may be more willing to accept you even though you filed bankruptcy. They may not even check your credit, but that is up to them. Larger rental agencies are often required to do credit checks so you will find that it is common practice for large apartment complexes to do credit checks before they let you rent.
You may want to ask if you qualify for a short-term lease, maybe six months or so. This could provide you the opportunity to prove you are able to make the rent payments each month. After that period, they may be able and willing to provide you with a longer lease. The ability to prove you have a steady income and are able to make the payments will hopefully indicate that you will be able to afford the rent.
If you have rented before, make sure to point out your good rental history. Be prepared that they may want to verify this so be sure you are truthful. Additionally, take the time to shop around. It may take some time to find the right place but be sure you do not settle for just anything. Even if you have filed bankruptcy that does not mean that you can only rent substandard housing. Be patient and shop around and hopefully you will find the right place for you.
If you suspect that you will have difficulty being approved to rent after your bankruptcy filing, you may want to go ahead and sign up for a lease prior to the filing of your bankruptcy petition. This would really apply to those who are surrendering their home in their bankruptcy and are certain they will need to find a new place to live. By signing a rental lease prior to filing your bankruptcy, you are avoiding the bankruptcy showing up on your credit report when the apartment complex checks your credit.
The good news, though, is that you do have options regarding finding a place to rent after bankruptcy, and you will be able to find the right place for you and your family. Be patient, do your research, and keep your mind open to all options.