7 Things You May Need Before You Apply for an Apartment

Certain information and documents are needed before you can rent an apartment. Though there is no standard as to what is required, most landlords and property management companies ask for things that give them a general idea of who you are. While some waive certain documents, there are still those who don’t bend the rules, making it necessary to have all you can with you before starting to look for an apartment.


  1. Proof of Employment

Being employed is one of the things which assures the potential landlord that you would be a good tenant. Therefore, you could be asked to provide your pay stubs or a letter of offer of employment. In addition to providing the pay stubs, the landlord might be interested in speaking with your employer. If you’re an independent, there is no proof of employment to prove. In this case, the landlord might ask for documents related to the contracts you have with your clients.


  1. Social Security Number

When it comes to renting an apartment, your social security number should not be seen as something confidential. It is almost always a requirement so the landlord can be sure about who they are dealing with. Also, it is used in performing a credit check and/or criminal background check.


  1. Reference Letters

Reference letters are required by some landlords. To really have a good chance of renting the apartment, you should get both professional and personal references. The professional one could be a letter from your employer or your previous landlord. For personal references, it’s necessary to choose responsible and established adults who you trust. Don’t just get a reference letter from any 20-year-old you see around. Renting an apartment is a big responsibility so your references should highlight your trustworthiness and show you’re a responsible adult.

Related: Getting Letters of Recommendation from Previous Landlords



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  1. Vehicle Registration and Insurance

Proof of vehicle registration and insurance could be of interest to the landlord even though these items are not directly related to your ability to pay rent. If there is a parking space for tenants, vehicle registration is important as that would give the landlord an idea of the kinds of vehicles that would be using the parking space. Insurance assures that any damage caused by the car within the premises would be taken care of by the insurance company.


  1. Contact Information of Previous Landlords

You had better be in the good books of your current landlord because your potential landlord will likely contact your previous landlord before you rent the apartment. The new landlord would like to know whether or not you were a good tenant in terms of payment, care of the apartment, etc.


  1. Bank Statements

Even after having all the documents mentioned above, presenting a bank statement increases your chances of being accepted as a tenant. Usually, what you need is either a pay stub or bank statement; not both. What the statement does is show that you have a regular income and affirms that you are really employed or have a successful business.

Related: How to Find the Best Apartment to Fit Your Budget 


Calculating Finances

Credit: By Dave Dugdale on flickr creative commons


  1. Roommate Information

Are you a good neighborhood or roommate? Most landlords cannot just take your word for it when you answer yes to that question. A landlord may ask for the contact information of your past roommates to know whether you are a trouble-making roommate or not. Even if you won’t be having a roommate in the new apartment, landlords would still like to have this information so they can know if you are a good neighbor.


Most of these things are just precautionary measures, so no need to stress out. Plus, working with the landlord and providing them with any documents they need is the best way to start your rental off on the right foot.


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