Whether you are moving for the first time from your parents’ house, moving out of dorm life, or moving to a new neighborhood, finding a new apartment can be both fun and stimulating. There are so many things to consider between getting all your documents together and finally signing the lease. Here are some tips on what to expect during the rental application process to help you get apartment approval sooner.
What is involved in the apartment approval process?
Remember to be as thorough and thorough as possible on your request. This is to ensure that the owner or rental agent does not need to contact you for additional information, which could block the process. You will need to include information such as your current address, phone number, driver’s license number, social security number, previous addresses, monthly income, and where you work.
Typically, rental requests also require an application fee or processing fee, which varies depending on the owner or rental office.
How to register
You have found the apartment of your dreams and you are ready to start the application process. There are a few places where you can find rental application, including online, at the rental desk, or through the landlord or rental desk. No matter how you get your hands on an application, it’s important to fill it out completely and return it as soon as possible. Here are some of the most important steps to keep in mind when applying for an apartment.
Gather your documents
In addition to the rental application, you can show the owner or rental agent other supporting documents that will allow them to verify your qualifications. Again, be sure to provide all of the requested documents to speed up the application process. These documents may include:
- A copy of your driver’s license or social security card
- A letter of employment or copies of your last pay stubs
- Copies of your bank statements, tax returns, W2 or documentation of assets such as stocks and real estate
- Letters of recommendation from previous owners or personal letters of recommendation
You may need to provide information about any pets you plan to keep in the apartment, which means you will need to have vaccination and health records ready. The owner or leasing agent may want to have documentation for your vehicle, including its license plate, make and model.
Provide proof of income
Your potential landlord will want to know that you will be able to pay the rent each month. The general rule of thumb is that your income needs to equal three times the cost of your monthly rent to qualify as a tenant, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Your future owner may ask you for copies of your pay stubs, taxes and W2. They can also call your employer or request a letter of employment stating how much you earn and how often you get paid. These are all methods that prove you have the income you need to pay your rent.
Provide information for your credit check
A landlord or rental bureau may ask to check your credit history. This helps them get a better idea of your financial responsibility. If you have little or no credit history because you’re starting out on your own, it’s important to share this information up front and provide an explanation. A good credit report will help your application progress faster, but a bad credit report won’t hurt you if you just haven’t had a chance to increase your credit yet. That’s why it’s important to communicate your credit history as clearly as possible.
Prepare for a background check
A landlord can use a background check to determine if you are a desirable tenant. All legal convictions and pending charges will show up during a background check, so keep them in mind before authorizing your background check. If you have a chance to explain any issues on your background check and discuss that they’re no longer a problem, it can help a future owner get over past issues.
Give the owner the appropriate references
Your future owner may ask you to provide a letter of recommendation from previous owners. This will let them know if you paid the rent on time, maintained your other properties, and met the terms of your previous lease. If you do not have a rental history, you can provide personal letters of recommendation. These can be provided by friends, colleagues and employers outside of your family. It is important to consider who you are asking to deliver a letter to because you want someone who will talk about your work ethic, responsibilities, and reliability.
Find out if you need a co-signer or a guarantor
If you have bad credit or even just don’t have a credit history, you may need to provide a co-signer or guarantor for the lease. A co-signer is an additional tenant who is responsible for part of the rent and who also resides in the apartment. A surety is a person who has no right to the property but who assumes all legal responsibility for the rent. Often this is a family member who is willing to vouch for the candidate. Their income and credit check will be taken into account, so the guarantor must be someone who would also qualify for the apartment.
How long does it take to get approval for an apartment?
Once you’ve completed and submitted your request to the landlord or rental agent, you can usually expect to receive a response within 24-72 hours. You can also request the estimated wait time at the time of the request to verify it. The rental office may contact you for additional information, questions about your request or to confirm your request for the apartment.
If you are starting to find a new apartment, be sure to gather all the information you need before launching an app. When you’re ready, search thousands of apartments for rent on Zumper and find your next home.