Applying for an apartment can feel like applying for a job. Rental agents want to make sure they’re leaving their valuable property in the hands of someone responsible.
Before you show up to apply for a new apartment, make sure you hit every item on the standard rental checklist. Appearing organized and prepared will put you ahead of anyone else looking at the property.
To find out what you need to rent your next apartment, check out the essential rental checklist items below.
What Is a Rental Checklist?
A rental checklist is a physical list of all the documents you may need to sign a lease. It may seem excessive, but apartment communities need to make sure their tenants are respectful and responsible. Here are some of the items that are commonly required.
Of course, some of the most important documents to bring are financial statements. They prove to the leasing agents that you are a fiscally responsible tenant and they don’t have to worry about your ability to pay the rent on time.
A rental agent needs to see pay stubs to determine if you can afford the apartment. There are both formal and informal rules about the acceptable ratio between salary and rent, usually no more than 30% of the monthly income. They will often ask for more than one pay stub to make sure your income is stable.
There are several forms of identification you need to sign a lease agreement. Make sure to have a few forms of identification, including your social security number. A passport or driver’s license is also necessary. Some stricter communities will ask for proof of residency.
However, make sure to take precautions to avoid rental scams. Never wire or transfer your identification or money unless you know it’s a reputable community.
Although not usually requested, a resume can help provide more evidence of your economic stability. Asking your boss for a letter of employment can also help, and you can copy it and keep it for other needs. As you compile a job history, make sure to compile a rental history as well.
Your rental history should include the length of the lease, how long you stayed, the monthly rent amount, and contact information for the lessors.
Your rental agent may ask for additional recommendations on your behalf. Have these on hand in case they are needed.
When looking for a new apartment, you can also ask for their recommendations or reviews. This interviewing process can go both ways—no one wants to live in a place others don’t.
More Renting Tips and Tricks
Write up your own rental checklist to make sure all your documents are in order as you visit potential apartment communities. This way, you’ll be ready to present all your documentation and sign the lease as soon as possible. The professional demeanor will impress rental agents and give you a leg up over competing potential tenants.