Renting an apartment is one of the first steps one takes when becoming an adult. You might not be ready to buy a home yet, but you are ready to move out of Mom and Dad’s house.
However, before you start the apartment application process, there are a few things you need to know. It’s not as easy as you might think to rent an apartment.
While your experience of applying for an apartment partly depends on the landlord or apartment agency, it always helps to be prepared. We’re here to help. Keep reading for a quick guide on how to apply for an apartment.
1. You’ll Need to Provide References
First, the apartment application will ask for character references. Essentially, the landlord wants to make sure they’re renting their unit to someone who is:
Depending on the apartment complex’s contract, this may or may not include relatives. In this case, look to friends, co-workers, managers, and other people you know well enough to ask.
2. The Landlord Will Look at Your Rental History
During the rental application process, the landlord will also take your rental history into account. They want to see where else you’ve lived so they can get in touch with your previous landlords.
If you left the place a wreck, were constantly late on payments, or were otherwise an unsatisfactory tenant, it might come back to haunt you. If you don’t have a rental history, you won’t have to worry about it.
3. You’ll Need to Show Proof of Income
The next part of the apartment application process includes proving you can afford the rent. The landlord needs to see proof of your income. They don’t want to take a risk on a tenant who will potentially have trouble paying for the unit.
You can use bank statements or pay stubs from your place of employment. If you’re a business owner or work solely online, you might need to find an alternative to these documents for an apartment. For example, take a look at the ultimate checkstubmaker.
4. A Security Deposite Will Be Required
What do you need to apply for an apartment in terms of cash?
Most first-time renters are surprised at how much money they need to secure an apartment. For example, you’ll need to provide a security deposit (typically equivalent to one month’s rent).
You can get your security deposit back if you leave the apartment in the same condition it was in when you moved in. However, this can sometimes prove difficult, depending on the landlord.
Additionally, you’ll also need to pay the first month’s rent. This can be prorated based on when you move in and when rent is due. Some landlords will require the last month’s rent, as well.
5. Read the Contract Carefully
Finally, during the apartment application process, make sure you read the lease agreement carefully. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek clarification.
You need to know exactly what is expected of you. The contract will contain the details of:
- Length of the lease
- Landlord responsibilities
- Maintenance and repair policies
- Late/missed payment policies
- Rent increases
- Extending your lease
- Terminating your lease early
- Pet policies
- And more
We recommend getting a copy of the lease agreement when signing. If the landlord doesn’t already provide one, they will upon request.
Ready to Start the Apartment Application Process
Are you ready to move into your new apartment? Make sure you come prepared for the apartment application process. You don’t want to miss out on an amazing place because you didn’t come with what you need.
And if you’re looking for more home or renter tips, check out some of our other articles. Our blog was created to provide endless information for people like you.