Rental Applications: 7 Documents You Should Prepare When Finding A Rental Apartment

On the hunt for a new rental or apartment? Here are the documents you need for a smooth rental journey.

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Rental Application Form

Rental Application Form by on Freepik

If you’re on the hunt for a rental home or apartment, there are a few essentials you need in your rental application arsenal (or as we call it, your application packet). These key documents help landlords pick the perfect tenant for their property, and getting them ready right from the start is important for a smooth rental journey. Let’s break down what they are, and why there are needed.

Rental Application Documents
  1. Photo of ID:
    • Providing your ID helps confirm you are who you say you are.
  2. 2-Months Paystub:
    • Landlords want to ensure you have a stable source of income to pay the rent on time. Your paystub proves you’re gainfully employed and ready to be a responsible tenant. Usually, landlords want to see 2-3x rent as the household income.
  3. 2-Months Bank Statement / Proof of Funds:
    • This helps landlords verify that you can comfortably cover the rent and living expenses. It’s important to show that you are able to afford the rent and move-in costs, as well as have some extra funds to handle emergencies.
  4. Credit Score:
    • Your credit score is like a report card for financial responsibility. Landlords use it to gauge your ability to manage debts and pay bills and may ask for your FICO score prior to officially running your credit. Minimum credit scores vary per property and some might require co-signers for lower credit scores.
  5. Previous Year’s Tax Return:
    • Tax returns show your financial history and provide additional proof of income.
  6. Letter to Landlord Regarding Leasing Situation (Optional):
    • Some landlords want to learn more about their prospective tenants. It’s like sending a sweet note with your application, and it can make you stand out.
  7. Pet Information (If Applicable):
    • Landlords that allow pets on their property usually want to know what kind of pet tenants are bringing. Be prepared to have a photo of your pet, as well as their breed, weight, size, and age.

Not all landlords are the same, and some will ask for more or less documents — but these documents provide a great starting point for what would be usually needed for rental applications. Remember, landlords usually are looking for two important qualities in a tenant: someone who can pay the rent, and someone who will treat their property like a home.

Want to learn more about the rental process when working with an agent? Read more in this blog. Ready to find the rental property of your dreams? Fill out this form and let me help you get one!

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