When beginning the rental application process, you will be expected to fill out an application form, undergo different record checks, and be asked a long list of questions based on your history. All of this information is necessary so that the landlord can verify if you are a good fit as a resident and can pay on time.
Your landlord will need this information when you first apply to give them an idea of why you are applying and if it makes sense for you to rent with them. This section has to include essential data such as contact information, date of birth, occupants, pets, and smoking preferences.
In addition to contact information, you’ll be asked about your previous employers and sources of income to see if you have consistent wages. Your landlord will want to make sure your income is at least three times the amount of rent or another ratio that they decided is the bare minimum requirement.
You should list the past locations where you lived so that your landlord can see that you have a rental history or just to keep this information on the record. For example, someone who moved from overseas may require additional investigation into whether they can afford the rent.
Landlords typically want one to three references from previous rental locations. This allows them to know if you are a trustworthy and reliable tenant.
Any history of crime may be important for your landlord to know. They might have requirements for their properties regarding who can live there. The landlord will likely see this information on your background check, so it is better if you mention it first. If you have experienced bankruptcies, your landlord will want to know before you rent. Any previous evictions should be mentioned because this will help the landlord get an idea of how steady your income is.
Some applications will require you to get a credit check so that your landlord is aware of your financial activities. They may have a minimum credit score requirement for their tenants.
A majority of landlords require background checks to be sure they aren’t harboring fugitives or criminals. This keeps other tenants safe and out of trouble and prevents them from accidentally breaking the law.
You will have to provide your pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns from the previous year. Typically, you only will need to deliver the last three pay stubs and a bank statement of savings showing you can afford to pay the rent for two to three months without income.
If you aren’t approved for rent, you can consider adding cosigners to your application. They have to go through a credit check and income verification. This way, you can still rent even if you aren’t an ideal tenant.
Landlords cannot ask questions about race, religion, nationality, sex, disabilities, sexual orientation, familial status, and skin color. You may have to state how many children you have because some rental homes have occupancy rules.
After you go through the rental application process and are approved, you can sign the lease agreement committing you to a rental term of a year or more. You can read more here about how this works.