How to Navigate the Apartment Application Process
You have found an apartment that you like! Then comes the tricky part – the apartment application process. Landlords ask potential tenants to complete an application process in order to prove that they are not a credit risk and that they will be a welcome asset to the property. It can sometimes take a while to prepare your apartment application, but if you are well prepared, the process will be much smoother.
Here are the important documents to prepare and the steps to follow before receiving approval for an apartment.
Application and processing fees
Before you apply for an apartment, you need to assess and make sure that it is a place you want to live. The average processing fee for an apartment application is $ 100 and is non-refundable, so you should make sure that the apartment is worth requesting in the first place. Some application fees cover background and credit checks, but sometimes these fees are separate. Ask the landlord about these charges before starting the process.
What information do I need to rent an apartment?
All potential tenants must first complete an Apartment Application – a form with supporting documents that landlords use to select applicants. Each apartment request is unique to a management company or owner, so you should read the request carefully and make sure there is nothing unexpected to provide. In general, here are the documents to prepare:
- Personal details
- Photo ID (driver’s license, passport, credit card, etc.)
- Social Security number
- Vehicle information
- Emergency contacts
- Documents that provide proof of income
- Recommendations and personal references
- Animal information (if necessary)
Prepare for a credit and background check
You will need to authorize the owner to check your credit and perform a background check. Checking your credit is how landlords judge your financial responsibility and whether you’ll pay your rent on time. Bad credit decreases your chances of being approved, while new credit is easier to explain. You may want to disclose your bad or new credit before the landlord runs the check and thinks of other ways to prove you’ll be a reliable tenant.
Background checks are also helpful in seeing how reliable and trustworthy a tenant is. Outstanding charges or previous convictions can cause a landlord to turn down a tenant. Again, it is best for you to get ahead of the background check and explain your past to the owner before asking for the background check.
Provide proof of income
Having an adequate income is the best way to prove that you can pay your rent. Usually, landlords want to verify that your monthly income is at least three times the monthly rent. You can prove this by providing pay stubs, bank statements, or tax returns. If you’ve recently started a new job, you may want to ask your employer to write a proof of income letter confirming your income. Owners can even call your employer to ask questions about your salary and current position with the company.
Provide personal references
The best proof you can give an owner to show that you are reliable and respectful is a personal recommendation from a previous owner. It’s good to show that no previous owner has kicked you out, and this is especially helpful if you have poor credit. If you have little or no rental history, you can provide personal references. Provide a sample letter to former employers, teachers, or colleagues and ask them to describe your character traits and general behavior. This will help you explain what makes you an exceptional candidate.
Get a guarantor
Even if you provide all the necessary information, it may not be enough to convince the landlord that you are ready to rent an apartment. If this happens, a surety may be the answer. A surety is someone who legally takes responsibility for paying rent in case something fails to pay you. To be a guarantor, they must provide financial documents such as tax returns or pay stubs to prove that they have a stable income and will be able to help you if you are unable to pay. This is clearly a great responsibility, so many people look to their family and friends for their vouchers.
How to rent an apartment with poor credit or no credit
New tenants may not yet have a credit history, but there are several other ways to get first apartment approval. As mentioned earlier, a guarantor is a good way to get around by renting an apartment with little or no credit. Another option is to start with a monthly rental agreement. By signing a short-term lease, the landlord may decide not to renew if you are unable to make payments on time. It can also help to pay a month or two rent in advance to show that the landlord has peace of mind.
Tenants with poor credit can offer their own version of credit through income, savings balance, and referrals. If you can prove that your income is stable and will cover the rent, or if you have a high savings balance, a landlord can accept this as proof that you will be able to cover the rent. re
Getting an apartment approved can seem like a lot of work, but once you have all of these documents ready, you can take them to every apartment, whether virtual or in person. Landlords who clearly know what to expect and tenants who carefully prepare their paperwork should reach the approval stage in no time.
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