4 Tips To Get The Rental You Want
Tip #1 – Know Your Credit Report
One of the most important things a prospective landlord or leasing agent will look at is your credit report. While a less than desirable credit report isn’t always a deal breaker, having a decent credit score will go a long way in helping you land the perfect rental home or apartment. It’s critical that you know exactly what’s on your credit report, especially if you have dents and dings in your credit history. Be prepared to explain the circumstances that lead to those issues and prepare an explanation as to why those circumstances have changed.
Tip #2 – Your Rental History is Your Rental Resume
While your credit history and credit score are important, often times your rental history is the single most impactful qualifier a landlord looks at. Think of a chronological timeline of every lease you’ve signed and how that lease worked out from the landlord’s perspective. It includes the dates of those leases and the amount of rent you paid. Most leasing agents and landlords will ask for a record of where you have lived for the past several years and will use this information to contact previous landlords. Rental history can even include a room you rented from your parents or other family member. Remember, effectively documenting and communicating your positive rental history can give you a major advantage over other less organized renters.
Tip #3 – Cash is King…When it comes to Deposit and Fees
Most apartment communities and landlords charge fees even before being approved. Make sure that you have enough money saved up to cover these expenses. Telling a landlord you’re interested in a property but don’t have the cash to reserve the place can send a very bad signal. The application fee and security deposit are the most common pre-approval charges and are charged by almost every landlord unless you’re moving in friends or family. Make sure you know what’s required to reserve the place you’re interested in and have that cash ready before submitting your application.
Tip # 4 – Rent Within Your Means
One of the hardest things to decide is how much you can afford to pay for your new apartment or home. The general rule is to take your annual salary and divide that by 40. Impress prospective landlords by knowing exactly what the maximum rent you can afford is and then looking only at rentals slightly under that amount. For a single person who’s net annually salary is $35,000 the maximum rent they can afford is right around $875.