With the hiking housing prices in the US, the rental market can be very competitive. Fear of missing out can be overwhelming, and you can expect to find yourself competing with up to 50 or more other people for just one property. This shows the significance of preparing your rental application and ensuring you meet the required criteria.
Your rental application is one of the things the agent, property manager, or landlord will look at to determine if you’re the right tenant for the property. So, it’s important to ensure that your application stands out from the crowd to get it approved.
To help you secure the property of your dream, here are some tips for preparing and submitting your rental application.
- Get the necessary application documents ready.
One of the best ways to smoothen your application process is to be as organized as possible. Find out ahead of time the necessary documents needed to complete the rental application. For a standard rental application, the most important documents required will include tax returns for the last two years, a copy of your credit report, proof of employment, a copy of your bank statements, and a letter from your previous landlord. However, these requirements can vary from state to state.
- Pay attention to details.
Paying attention to every detail in your rental application is crucial to avoid giving the landlord or agent a simple reason to skip over your application. Ensure you take your time to read through the instructions to make sure what you fill in is accurate.
“Landlords love to be pleasantly surprised by positive reference letters from your previous landlord. You can take it to the next level by including a couple of personal and professional recommendation letters. And if you really want to knock their socks off, write a personal letter to the landlord introducing yourself and sharing with them all the reasons you’d love to live there,” says Jeanette Colgrove, a real estate broker at Brown Harris and Stevens of Brooklyn, NY.
- Always communicate with your landlord-to-be.
The rental application process can be overwhelming. However, always ensure you communicate with your potential landlord or agent throughout the process. If you need an extra day or two to track down a document, always get in touch through a quick email or text to let them know. Good communication shows your conscientious and thoroughness.
- Be truthful about your history.
When filling out your rental application, being truthful on what you write is always the best decision. If your credit is not so appealing, or if you left your previous apartment on bad terms, the smartest thing to do is come clean and explain yourself. Chances are, your potential landlord or agent has already been through it all. Also, you can seek the help of your real estate agent who can help you solve the problems and streamline the process to avoid rejection from the landlord.
- Get a guarantor.
If you’re renting for the first time or you don’t have a very good rental or credit history, you can get a financial guarantor who’ll sign the lease and be held accountable in case you fail to pay your rent or damage the property. In other words, a guarantor can add credibility to your rental application. If you’re moving out from your parent’s house, you can use them as your guarantor. If you have poor credit, you can get a family member or friend with good credit and sufficient income to be your guarantor.