Rental Application 101 and How to Make Yours Stand out!

As a prospective tenant, you and your rental application need to stand out in a sea of other applicants. Rental homes that have excellent amenities and are in desirable neighborhoods are ranked high on everyone’s list.  Preparation is key. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the application process so you are ready to submit an application quickly when you find a rental unit you love!

1.Review your social media. Part of a landlord/Realtor’s research may include digging up more information about you online. Be mindful of this. Work on your social media’s privacy settings. It can affect the approval of your rental application. Ensure that you only have decent public photos on the web. Judgments can be unfair but it’s best to review your digital footprint.

2.Create a good first impression. When meeting landlords/ Realtors for the first time, put your best foot forward. Dress well, be courteous and be on time. This physical assessment is part of your rental application. Communicate like a professional and win their confidence.You can also ask if additional requirements are needed such as a renter’s insurance. Further, you can gauge your qualification by seeking more information about the type of tenant they’re looking for.

3.Proof of Income – You will need a current pay stub or tax return to show you income. Owners base eligibility in what your take home income is not your gross income. When looking for apartments keep in mind the rule of thumb is for tenants to spend no more than 30% of their income on rent. (Make sure you’re submitting a validate pay stub with your name on it. Not just a screenshot with a number.)

4.If you need a co-signer, have one board and ready to also fill out a FULL application. A Co-signer will need to also show proof of income to show they are elibagle as a co-signer.

5.Be prepared for a credit check. The credit check is generally a soft pull so it won’t affect your score. If you have any late payments or items in collections disclose the issues upfront. If there is an explanation behind the deliquies you have a much better chance that your application will be accepted.

6.Be prepared for a background check if you have any evictions on your report be upfront with the landlord or Realtor. A short explanation can go a long way.

7.Application fee’s can range anywhere for $20 – $100. In order to minimize these costs, work with a single realtor who will run one application and will then be able to submit it on multiple units. This way you are not paying multiple fees.

8.References – Have your landlord and employment contacts ready to list on the application. Be prepared for the landlord or Realtor to reach out for references.

9. Make sure you have a photo ID to attach to the application.

Final Thoughts
Concentrating on the factors you can control, such as being organized by providing documents quickly, can increase your chances of being accepted. However, be aware that the landlord retains the right to decide in the end. They may turn an applicant down on the basis of an insufficient income, bad credit history or questionable background. Be aware though that your rental applications can’t be rejected on the following grounds: religion, race, color, national origin, disability, sex or familial status (as defined by the Fair Housing Act).

In conclusion, strive to cultivate the trust and confidence of the landlord or Realtor. Achieving this will make living in your dream place a reality.