In a competitive rental market, prospective tenants can become discouraged after multiple applications are denied by property management companies. Hopeful leaseholders can take certain steps to avoid further disappointment and help their submissions stand out from the rest.
Found the ideal rental property? Don’t let it slip away. Follow these five tips for an exceptional application.
Search Within the Budget
A landlord’s primary concern when sifting through applications is finding the ideal candidate who can pay the rent on time and in full. Renting is a business; to guarantee success, landlords must ensure applicants can afford the cost of living in their buildings or properties. As a tenant, don’t waste the landlord’s time. Search for rental properties within a realistic price range. Renters can even tailor their searches to include ideal size, desired neighborhoods and necessary amenities.
Prepare for Fees
Nothing impresses a landlord more than a tenant with cash flow. In a competitive rental market, applicants can offer landlords a larger deposit fee or application fee, which may help sway a decision in their favor. Credit check costs, pet deposits, broker fees, first and final month’s rent and parking permits are all possible charges to incur before a tenant is even accepted. Not having enough money in the bank for these expenses is a red flag in the eyes of a potential property manager.
Research Credit History
Prepare to explain a mediocre or poor credit score to a landlord. It’s better to be upfront and honest about past renting mistakes than trying to hide negative history. Chances are, credit blemishes surface during the background check and can deter a property manager from proceeding. Most importantly, individuals should be aware of their credit histories before beginning the rental process. Knowing the state of one’s credit is the first step to remedy former errors and raise the score. Repair damage prior to applying for a lease to ensure that an adverse financial past doesn’t impede on the process.
A tenant can impress a landlord by treating the application process with respect. Treat property managers politely during all scheduled showings and meetings. Applicants should also dress appropriately to set a notable first impression. The dress code should be similar to what one would wear to a job interview. Applicants who appear qualified are more likely to prove themselves as responsible future tenants.
Do not try to hide a pet from a landlord. Even if a dog-owning tenant gets past the application process on a no-pets property, they put themselves at risk for getting caught later in the lease. If a landlord discovers an undocumented animal in the building, they can withhold the security deposit, charge for cleaning fees, apply pet fees and evict policy violators. Avoid these financial burdens and complications by taking responsibility for animals and paying all necessary dues to have them cohabitate. As long as the building allows animals, informing management of a dog or cat shouldn’t negatively impact the application process.
While some landlords are more stringent on applications than others, these five tips should assist in a standard rental request. By implementing these steps, lessees can find the best-fitting rentals and positively demonstrate their qualifications to the property manager.
This is a guest post from Tali Wee, a writer for Zillow, the leading online real estate marketplace.