Nowadays, most people prefer to lease rental units because of the ease in which you can move around. They don’t like being tied up with long-term mortgages. Young people especially are open to relocating for greater job opportunities and lifestyle changes. If you’re one of those who prefer renting, you may be looking for tips on how to submit an outstanding rental application for an Austin, Texas rental property.
What is a Rental Application?
For landlords and property managers to do a proper evaluation of a renter, they assess the rental application. This is a document where information can be gathered on a potential tenant in terms of credit score, rental history, references, financial capability and employment among other crucial details.
Rental Application Checklist
As a prospective tenant, you need your rental application to stand out in a sea of other applicants. Neighborhoods that have excellent amenities are ranked high on everyone’s list. This is why you need to prepare the following checklist as soon as possible:
- Identification documents – bring along your social security card, passport, driver’s license, or other government-issued IDs
- References – provide a minimum of 3 references that can vouch for your tenancy record and character
- Bank statements – provide current bank records with a sufficient balance that will show you’re fully capable of meeting the rental payment requirement for a few months
- Proof of employment – submit a certificate of employment that shows the company you’re currently employed in
- Proof of income – submit last year’s tax record
- Completed rental application form – download a copy from a property manager’s website or email the landlord prior to the scheduled meeting to accomplish beforehand
8 Helpful Rental Application Tips
Given the competitive rental landscape especially inexpensive cities, you have little time for delay. Review the following tips to increase your chances of landing your dream rental unit:
1. Preparation is key.
Gather the documents in the above-mentioned checklist. Preparing early means presenting an organized rental application. The landlord will appreciate a potential tenant’s ready documents. The faster you can submit complete documents, the better for everyone. It means fewer follow-ups for the landlord and less stress for you.
2. Submit a great cover letter.
A cover letter informs the landlords how you present yourself. It lets them know the reason you’re leaving your current landlord and why you’re interested to rent in their property. It also allows them to gauge your sincerity so craft an excellent cover letter. Market yourself well without overhyping. Keep it short but sincere. The cover letter attachment can help make your rental application spectacular.
3. Provide proof you can afford to pay.
No matter if your cover letter is well done, this is one criterion that landlords will focus on in your rental application. The rental property operates as a business after all. It’s important that they can rely on you to meet the required rental payment each month. So assess yourself if you can afford the rental unit you desire. Present your bank statements with the latest balance. It should be sufficient enough to cover a few months of rent payment.
4. Furnish solid references.
Aside from your financial assets, your references will heavily affect the decision making for landlords. They want to know if you’re an easy or difficult tenant to manage. If a reference reveals behavior problems, they’d rather choose to be stress-free and find another tenant. The best references you can offer in your rental application are your previous landlords. They can vouch for your tenancy record. Otherwise, you can also submit your employer, colleague or community/ school leader as references. These secondary types are applicable to first-time renters.
5. Obtain a financial guarantor.
Should your credit report or financial documents show less than stellar information, you can opt to present a financial guarantor. Some landlords welcome a financial guarantor. They want to be reassured further that they’ll always be able to collect the due rent payments. Sometimes, your early credit records may not be attractive in your rental application so this alternative can be helpful. This is subject to a landlord’s approval though.
6. Be honest in your rental application.
No matter if you hide certain information, the truth can reveal itself during the verification process. This would affect your rental application’s chances. Be truthful and provide explanations. You can offer solutions to counter your less-than-perfect records. Landlords prefer if you’re more upfront so they have an authentic assessment. They might even help you qualify if they can see your sincerity and willingness to cooperate.
7. Review your social media.
Part of a landlord’s research may include digging up more information about you online. Be mindful of this. Work on your social media’s privacy settings. It can affect the approval of your rental application. Ensure that you only have decent public photos on the web. Judgments can be unfair but it’s best to review your digital footprint.
8. Create a good first impression.
When meeting landlords for the first time, put your best foot forward. Dress well, be courteous and be on time. This physical assessment is part of your rental application. Communicate like a professional and win their confidence. Show interest and ask questions on the availability of the rental property. You can also ask if additional requirements are needed such as a renter’s insurance. Further, you can gauge your qualification by seeking more information about the type of tenant they’re looking for. You can also check out this list of reasons why your application might be denied.
Concentrating on the factors you can control, such as being organized by providing documents quickly, can increase your chances of being accepted. However, be aware that the landlord retains the right to decide in the end. They may turn an applicant down on the basis of an insufficient income, bad credit history or questionable background. Be aware though that your rental applications can’t be rejected on the following grounds: religion, race, color, national origin, disability, sex or familial status (as defined by the Fair Housing Act).
In conclusion, strive to cultivate the trust and confidence of the landlord. Achieving this will make living in your dream place a reality.
If you are looking for a home in the Austin, Texas area, contact Bigham & Associates, LLC today and we can help you find the rental home of your dreams!