The Rental Application Process: An Overview for First Time Renters



Renting a home has its benefits. For one thing, you won’t have to worry about any maintenance costs. Not only that, but it’ll give you more flexibility.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any drawbacks, though. After all, apartment hunting can be stressful—there are just so many things that you have to consider!

Are you moving out into an apartment? Want to learn more about the rental application process? If so, you’re on the right page.

We’ll be going over all the details below so be sure to read the rest of the post!

5 Things That You Have to Do When Applying For an Apartment

There are several steps that you have to take when it comes to renting an apartment. Here’s a brief overview.

1. Fill Out the Application 

The first thing that you want to do is fill out an application. More often than not, you can do it through the apartment’s website.

Make sure to read the form carefully before submitting it. Also, don’t be afraid to make notes of anything that you don’t understand—you can always ask for clarification later.

Tip: It never hurts to include a letter of intent with your application. That way, your future landlord will be able to get to know you better.

2. Pay the Application Fee

Depending on the landlord, you may have to pay an application fee. Generally speaking, this can cost anywhere from $35 to $100 per person.

Note: Rental application fees are non-refundable.

3. Provide Your Proof of Income 

The next step is to provide proof of income. Basically, it lets the landlord know that you’ll be able to make your rent payments on time.

Be prepared to show two or three recent pay stubs, tax statements, or bank statements. You can also create pay stubs to prove your monthly income if you’re self-employed.

4. Submit For a Credit Check

As part of the application process, you’ll have to give the landlord permission to check your credit. That will give them a better idea as to how financially responsible you are.

This goes without saying but your chances of being approved will be lower if you have bad credit (it may indicate that you’re not financially dependable).

5. Provide References

More often than not, you’ll have to provide them with a list of references. While previous landlords are ideal, you can also list other people such as your family or your employer.

Ultimately, the goal is to let the landlord know that you’re a responsible individual.

Understanding the Rental Application Process

And there you have it—a short guide on the rental application process. As you can see, there are certain steps that you have to take when renting an apartment.

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