Rental applications might seem like a bore, or might seem cumbersome or as a formality, but youíd be surprised at what a quality rental application you fill out can really do to help you find the right living situation. In fact, many people view rental applications as ďsign-on-the-dotted-line,Ē lifeless forms. Why? If youíre applying to live somewhere with higher standards, you have to make sure that you go above and beyond the usual rental application to help ensure your future landlords that youíll be a quality tenant.
Thatís why taking the time to understand rental applications - including the most important parts of your rental application - will be so important. If you want to really ďseal the dealĒ on a new apartment or rental home, youíll want to make sure that you meet these standards so that things truly can go off without a hitch. Remember; just because youíre signing a rental application doesnít mean that youíll automatically be accepted. Youíll want to keep in mind what good landlords are looking for in their potential tenants - and youíll want to make sure you deliver on these qualities.
First, landlords are looking for someone who can afford the rent theyíll be paying, and that theyíll make these payments promptly. In order to do this, theyíll often look for a verification of your income, which can include anything from pay stubs to bank account information. Theyíll also check your renterís history and even run a credit report to make sure that youíre the kind of person who makes payments on time. These simple steps might be a formality to some, but if youíve never been an on-time payer of bills, it should cause you some worry. Thatís why itís so important to always pay rent on time - you never know when it might come back to bite you in the future.
Second, landlords are looking for any sort of criminal history on you. They want to make sure that theyíre allowing a law-abiding citizen into their apartment complex, not someone who has a history of dangerous behavior. This is obviously a prerequisite for anyone, and hopefully your record is clean because thereís not much you can do about this part of the process. Thatís why itís also important to make sure you realize that other areas of your life can affect what happens to you on your rental application.
Third, youíll want to include as much information as possible on your rental application so that you donít have to revisit it later on. Basic information like your current address, phone number, email address, income level, job - all of that needs to go on so that the landlords donít have to call you back so you can come in and fill out more paperwork. You want it all to get out of the way up front because it reflects on how you get things done in other areas of your life; after all, if youíre not good at filing a rental application, how great can you be at paying your rent?
Mostly useful from a landlordís perspective when gathering information on potential tenants, a Residential Rental Application is a document filled out by a potential tenant that lists the basic information and rental history of said tenant. Essentially, a Residential Rental Application is a concrete way for a potential tenant to introduce themselves to their prospective landlords.
Filling out a Residential Rental Application will mean taking a strong look at oneís own rental past, as well as filling out plenty of other identifying information that will be relevant to letting a potential landlord know that youíre a solid prospective tenant.
Simply put, unless a landlord has a prior history with you, they donít know all there is to know. And because theyíre taking a risk on you by allowing you to pay rent for a certain property, they have to be sure that renting the property to you is the best decision for their property. Sometimes, property managers will be making this decision on behalf of an owner and arenít at liberty to take risks on tenants.
Also, there are a number of ways that Residential Rental Applications will factor into the decision regardless of how well the landlord knows you. They have to know that you have the income to support yourself while paying rent (and therefore wonít have troubles making rental payments) and that you have a history of being a good tenant as well.
Because itís illegal to discriminate on potential tenants based on color, religion, gender, disability, etc., itís important for prospective tenants to remember that they donít have to fill out anything unlawful in their Residential Rental Application. Any law that prohibits the discrimination of people based on factors like those just listed also apply to Residential Rental Applications.
There are a number of different things youíll be expected to fill out about you, anyone who might be living with you, and your overall living situation. Here are a few of the fill-in-the-blanks youíll likely be expected to answer:
There are a number of other variables that go into a Residential Rental Application, but if you are able to meet the landlordís requirements on the above, youíll often stand a good chance at being accepted into the property.
In addition to the variables listed above, here are a few more examples of information that you should look to collect from prospective tenants:
Itís important to note that there are certainly limitations on what you can ask a prospective tenant to put on their application.
Keep away from any hint of discrimination simply by leaving it off the application and using a more standard application for your tenants.
Itís against the law for landlords to discriminate against you based on factors such as gender, race, age, religion, etc. If any of these types of questions show up on your Residential Rental Application, you have good evidence that discrimination is taking place.
A typical Residential Rental Application might ask for credit or personal reference as a part of your background check. Although itís normal for them to seek a credit reference, no landlord should be privy to any information that is not their right to see without your permission. Even so, you may grant them written permission for certain inquiries, such as checking with a credit reference or even seeing bank transaction amounts.
A Residential Rental Application is often considered a form of affidavit, which constitutes a written statement of fact (though affidavits typically require that these are sworn statements of fact). You are not agreeing to anything with the new landlord yet, but you are telling them that what youíve written is true, which is why itís so important that you concentrate on providing full and accurate answers whenever you fill out one of these applications.
You wonít be signing a full mutual agreement with your landlord until itís time to sign the Residential Lease Agreement; anything else they have you sign throughout the process should be treated with skepticism and read in full.
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