How to Stand Out in a Rental Application

June 3, 2024

So, what can you do to make your rental application stand out from the crowd? You’ve located an apartment that meets all of your criteria—great location, amazing amenities, and even a reasonable price. Unfortunately, you’re not the only one who believes it’s an ideal location to call home. Other potential tenants are looking at the property as well.

Begin taking action as soon as you determine it’s time to move so you’ll be ready to portray yourself in the best possible light on the application. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making sure you’re the one who signs the dotted line.

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Make your Rental Application Stand Out

Prior Application

Being unprepared is one of the biggest blunders you can make when it comes to your application. Someone else could fill out an application and get authorized during the time you are trying to gather relevant information and find excellent referrals. Alternatively, your haste may cause you to appear chaotic and produce a poor first impression. Please don’t let this happen! Take these measures before you start looking for the ideal rental.

Compile all your documents

You must demonstrate that you are who you say you are and that you can afford to reside in the rental home when you apply. You must first present government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license, state identification card, passport, or green card. Make sure the photo is unmistakably you—if you look significantly different, acquire another form of identification—and that the information on it does not conflict with the information on your application.

To prove you can pay your rent, you’ll need current pay stubs, bank documents, and the previous year’s tax return. If you’re self-employed, bank statements and tax returns should suffice, but you should also have a statement from your present landlord saying that you pay your rent on time.

Scanned these documents and make them available online to make things easier. When the landlord or property manager asks for them, you can quickly forward them to them. If you’ll be sharing a room, urge your roommates to follow your lead and prepare ahead of time as well.

Examine your credit report

Someone will check your credit score at some point during the procedure. Prepare yourself., a service provided by credit reporting bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, allows you to get your credit score for free. The range of scores is 300 to 850. A credit score of 700 or higher is regarded as excellent, while a score of 620 to 699 is considered average. A credit score of less than 620 is considered poor.

Your credit score should ideally be around 700, especially if you are competing with other people for the same rental property. Paying off debt, on the other hand, can help you improve a low credit score. (Your credit score will take a few months to reflect your lower debt, so if you have horrible credit and can wait, consider delaying your move.)

Are you surprised by your credit score? Examine it for inconsistencies, such as closed accounts being listed as open or the same debt being shown many times. If you discover an inaccuracy, dispute it with the credit reporting agency. Review your personal information and notify the agency if there are any discrepancies.

For example, different addresses from those listed on your rental application could be a red signal.

Find a guarantor

If you have a bad credit score or none at all, you don’t have to give up on your dream home. Find a guarantor or co-signer who will pay your rent and reimburse any damages you leave behind if you don’t.

Because a co-signer must also present proof of identity and the ability to pay the rent if you are unable to, he should prepare his documents and information ahead of time.

Make a cover letter

In a sea of applications, a cover letter might help your rental application stand out. Write a professional, error-free letter introducing yourself, your reasons for moving, and what you enjoy about the property. Add obedience training certificates, immunization records, and emotional support/service animal registration to your gathered documents pile.

Any potential difficulties, such as a break in employment or bad credit, should be addressed in your cover letter. Simply be cautious in how you explain the problem. It’s fine to admit that your credit has suffered as a result of your divorce, but don’t go on about how bad your ex is. Although your application may stand out, it is unlikely to do so for the reasons you desire.

You’re not a writer? Instead, make a video. Just as you would in a letter, you’ll want to address the same topics and be personable. Before you start filming, make sure your audio quality is good and that your background is clear. A cluttered living room or a stack of last night’s beer cans could put a landlord off.

Make a reference list

At the very least, you’ll need three references. Before you start filling out applications, figure out who would be a good reference for you and contact them.

Clearly, some references are superior to others. Your present landlord or property manager is the greatest possible reference since they can answer questions about how you maintain the property and pay your rent. Your employer is also a viable choice. Avoid mentioning your best friend from high school or your parents; their recommendations will be worthless.

Reorganize your social network accounts

If the individual examining your application Googles you or looks up your social media profiles, what will they find? Before you apply, go through your social media accounts and delete anything that could raise a red flag for a landlord, such as references to parties, alcohol, or drugs, or images with dirty rooms in the backdrop.

About the application

What you include (or don’t include) on your application can make a major difference in whether it stands out or gets lost in the shuffle. Furthermore, several flaws in the application generate red flags.

Keep track of your rental application

It could take several days for you to hear back from the landlord or his property management business after you submit your application. If someone has a query or requires additional information, you will usually hear from them. Always make an effort to be pleasant and helpful. Respond as soon as possible, and supply any necessary information as soon as feasible, the earlier the better.

It’s fine to follow up if you haven’t heard anything in a few days. Just be courteous and avoid being pushy.