Applying for an Apartment

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Finding an apartment can be quite the process. With demand rising and everyone looking for specific elements in a new home, you want to ensure you are prepared to apply for an apartment when you finally find the perfect place that meets all of your qualifications.

Follow these tips to ensure you avoid rejection when applying for a new apartment:

Be prepared 

Before going to a showing, you’ll want to be prepared to apply right away. Ask the landlord or real estate professional showing the property what you need to apply for the apartment if you find it meets your needs. Knowing this ahead of time will save you a great deal of time and better ensure your application for the place is approved.

Ask about an application fee and whether you need to provide proof of income before looking at an apartment, suggested Apartment Guide. Preparing for these steps ahead of time will increase the likelihood of you securing the apartment of your dreams.

In addition, you will want to ensure you understand how competitive your local market is. If an area is in high demand, there may be more thorough checks or more substantial necessary qualifications for available units. Know these before you begin your search, and you will better equipped for the process and increase the likelihood of application approval.

Background check 

Landlords want responsible tenants who will not cause issues. For this reason, many conduct a criminal background check. You must authorize the completion of a background check before it is started.

If you have any felonies on your record, you should be given the opportunity to explain what happened. Typically there is a section on the physical application that allows applicants to do so.

Come with a healthy credit score 

Credit scores matter a great deal and applying for a new apartment requires a solid credit history. Obtain a copy of your score, and try to improve it as much as possible. Pay bills on time and in full whenever possible.

According to Realtor.com, you’ll also want to look out for errors and incorrect information present on your credit report. These errors can impact your score and leave you with a much lower score, which may result in rental application rejection.

If you don’t have credit or your current score is too low, SFGate suggested that you consider asking someone to cosign the rental agreement. Ask someone who you know is responsible, has a good credit history and most importantly, will agree to be a cosigner.

Provide references 

Typically, a landlord will request that you provide your rental history and the contact information of any previous landlords. This helps them gather whether you are a responsible and courteous tenant who has demonstrated decency in the past.

Realtor.com noted you may also need to provide the specific dates you lived in different apartment buildings. Try to include this with the information you provide when applying for a new apartment.

In addition, you may be asked to provide additional references. Have a list of friends or family members who can accurately speak to a potential landlord about your character and dependability.

Consider pets 

If you have a pet, you will want to ensure ahead of time that your furry friend is allowed in the space. In many instances, there is an application process specifically designed for pets. Make sure you know what is expected and prepare a resume for your dog, cat, bird or other creature to let the landlord know your pet won’t disrupt the peace or cause damage to the apartment.

According to Apartment Guide, providing a landlord with references can help a great deal when applying for an apartment. This allows landlords to view your pet in a positive light. If you have a previous landlord who will vouch for your pet, you and your furry friend are less likely to be rejected.

While finding an apartment that allows pets may seem like a daunting task, remember many times landlords will advertise that they allow pets in their units. When looking for a new apartment, only seek out properties that explicitly state they welcome animals.

Ask about fees and deposits 

Whether you have a pet or not, you may have some sort of move-in fee or security deposit. Make sure you know what you’ll need to pay prior to applying. You don’t want to think you have enough money to cover the costs associated with moving to a new apartment and then find out you need to provide $1,000 for a security deposit.

Signing the lease 

If your application is approved, then you can sign the lease and move into the new place. However, before you sign anything, make sure you have a complete understanding of the agreement. You want to fully understand the policies and whether you will be responsible for covering the cost of utilities, parking or other expenses related to the apartment.

Keep a copy for your records so you can reference it easily if any questions arise while living in the space.

Applying to live in a new apartment requires research on your end as well as preparation. By coming prepared with materials and ensuring your credit score is healthy, you can better ensure you will qualify for the apartment that is right for you and your unique needs.