You’ve got an appointment with your agent and you ready to get out the door to find a new place to live. Ask yourself this: What should I bring with me on the appointment, how can I be assured I’ll get considered for approval and what documents will I need to provide?
The most important thing you should bring is your checkbook with enough funds in your account to cover 1-2 months of your estimated rent. I can’t tell you how many clients find a place they love on the first go around and then don’t have a check or the means to make a deposit. Most Real Estate offices don’t take credit cards and while many will take cash, an ATM machine may only let you take $500 in one day.
Why would you need to leave a deposit to reserve an apartment? Imagine this scenario- Two people want the same apartment but our policy only allows us to reserve it for only 1 of them. Now, let’s say the person we reserve it for (person 1) sees another place and “reserves” that apartment as well only with NO deposit and subsequently drops the first place. At this point, it’s likely person 2 has already found another apartment in the meantime. We now have an apartment with no renter when we once had two. A deposit allows us to hold the apartment but also restricts you from renting another apartment in the meantime for fear of forfeiting your deposit. Most Real Estate offices will require at least a 1-month non-refundable deposit to hold an apartment.
The other items to have prepared and with you is your current and previous landlord’s information, your current job information with salary confirmation and/or school enrollment confirmation, and contact information for a personal reference.
After you have decided on an apartment, completed your application and submitted your deposit, your agent will do the following work to help you get approved.
Credit Check. If your credit is less than desirable, we’ll look to see why. If you’re lacking credit history, ie: first-time credit situation, your score may be low. If you had credit issues, late payments or debts that went into collection, this may affect the way a property owner evaluates you. You should be prepared to offer an explanation if this is the case. For more information CLICK HERE
Landlord References. A good landlord reference is significant information for your future landlord. They want to know if you paid your rent on time, what you previously paid, if there were any problems with your tenancy and if the landlord would rent to you again. If you are new to renting and don’t have current or previous landlords this does not mean that you will get denied, you just may be evaluated on different things.
Job/Income or School Verification. Your future landlord may want you to know if you have ties to the area that may keep you from moving out shortly after you move in. Most of all, they’ll need assurance you can afford the apartment. For students, prepare to obtain a co-signer. When submitting any verification (employment, enrollment), it should be on company letterhead stating your position, pay rate (if any), anticipated graduation date or job transfer termination date, and have a signature of someone in authority. An offer letter is sufficient if you have not started working yet. If you don’t or can’t have any of this information handy, we can also call a supervisor or HR at your company to obtain it. In some instances we can take your 3 most recent consecutive pay stubs an/or your school schedule. Electronic forms of any of the above documents are almost always acceptable!
We call the landlord with all your information and do everything we can to get you approved for the apartment. Once we have all supporting documents we will usually have an answer for you within 24-48 hours. If you’ve followed the above suggestions we could possibly have one immediately!