I love home ownership but there are times that it just doesn't make sense to buy a home. ? You still need somewhere to live! Enter the rental market. It can be incredibly confusing when you are looking to rent a single family home, condo or townhouse because every landlord or property manager has a different application process! Let's take a look at some general rental requirements to get you prepared for the process of finding and applying for your next rental.
Renter's application forms will be slightly different with each home to which you apply and yet they will generally contain the following:
1. Proof of income
Your future landlord wants to know that you'll be able to make rent payments on time each month. Most rentals require that you make at least 3 times the amount of the rent. If the rental property was $1000/month you would need to make a minimum of $3000/month to qualify. Landlords will also take a look at your other obligations/bills to determine if you can afford the rental.
This is where you'll need two or three recent pay stubs, bank statements, tax statements or a W-2 if you've had your job for more than a year. They may also call your employer to get proof of your employment, as well as questions about you and your salary.
2. Credit check
A landlord wants to check your credit to see how financially responsible you are. Good credit is an indicator of how well you'll pay your rent on time. If you have bad credit, it may hurt your chances of getting approved, as this is an indicator that shows you're not financially dependable.
Many landlords will not consider renting to an applicant that has credit lower than 550 and often having poor credit will cost you more money to rent. To check your credit got to https://www.creditkarma.com/
3. Background check
Within the application, you'll need to agree that it's OK for the landlord to do a background check. Like the credit check, a background check shows your personality and dependability.
Previous convictions or pending charges may be cause for concern and hinder your ability to rent the apartment.
You may see a line on the application that gives you a place to explain anything of concern that may show up in your background check report. Providing context around anything that might raise red flags for the landlord may go a long way. Explain your side of the story and why it shouldn't be a problem.
4. Previous landlord or personal references
Have your rental history handy to make the application go easier. If you don't have any past landlords, you can provide personal references.
References can include your network outside of your family, like college professors and employers. These references may give the landlord a better idea of your work ethic and how responsible you are.
5. Co-signer application if you have new or low credit
Co-signers or guarantors are people with good credit who can sign the lease with you. This means they agree to take legal responsibility for covering your rent if you can't.
Landlords may also request a co-signer if your income isn't more than three times the cost of the rent — that's a typical income rule that landlords use.
6. Cover letter
If your situation is complicated or you know you probably won't qualify for the property, a cover letter sent with the application may help. You can explain things like:
· Bad credit because of medical bills
· Low income but with a clear path of career progression
Your words alone won't get you the property, but including more information will give them a better idea of who you are. If they're on the fence about you, a cover letter could be the push that tips you over to acceptance.
How long does approval take?
For the most part, applications will take 24 to 72 hours, but check with the landlord or management company for how long it usually takes. It's always a good idea to ask how long you should expect to wait for a reply.