Once you’ve found a property you like and decide it’s time to rent, your next step is completing an application form.  The application process is a way to show your future landlord and real estate agent that you are the best choice of candidate for the property, that your finances are stable so you can pay the rent, and that you will maintain the property as specified in your agreement. Since your application will be reviewed against all the other candidates, it’s important to know the details so you can outshine others. Here are a few tips on how to do it hassle-free.

Fill out a rental application

When filling out your rental application, and you plan to have a co-signer or roommates, they will also have to do the same. Essentially, there’s a separate lease application form for everyone planning to move in with you. Some properties have online application forms, but as mentioned before, it’s recommendable that you do it with your trustworthy realtor. A typical rental application will require you to provide the following information: a photo ID, personal information, email, phone number, employment and income information, background information landlord references, and personal or professional references.

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Build a relationship with the agent

A reliable and experienced real estate agent is what can give you the upper hand in the process of property hunting. Make an effort to find a good one, get to know them, see the office and develop a firm relationship. They would want to do the same to ensure you as a tenant are reliable and easy to work with. You want all the advantages you can get in a competitive rental market such as Texas. Many renters find themselves in a bidding war as rental rates are surging. For instance, if you’ve got your heart set on Lubbock apartments for rent, where the average 1-bedroom apartment rent goes for $550, you don’t want anyone outbidding you. So, make sure you ask your realtor what information you need to put in your application because they will evaluate it before giving it to the landlord. A good relationship and trust built between you are what can help you get approved.

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Show your rental history

Rental history is information regarding your previous rental arrangements, former addresses, late rent payments, possible evictions and criminal history, credit score and any other data that can help a potential landlord decide whether or not you’ll make a good tenant. With a good rental history, you have better chances of getting approved for a rental than if you have had issues with renting in the past. With your permission, agents and landlords can get access to all this information easily, and quickly assess if you’re a suitable candidate or not. Knowing this will eliminate any unpleasant surprises later. Review your rental history and be prepared to elaborate on any issues it might reveal.A lot of attention is given to your ability to pay rent, so a constant and reliable source of income is what is preferred. As a means of assurance for your landlord, it’s recommended you add a few recent bank statements and pay slips to your application to prove your financial credibility.

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Pay the apartment application fee

The application fee is necessary to fund the credit and all the checks of potential renters. It can differ depending on various factors, such as the property location, the building and even the landlord. Sometimes, you may have additional processing fees as well. You should inquire about any potential fees associated with the application process for your property of interest, and whether they are refundable in case the landlord opts for another candidate.

Present yourself as an agreeable renter

Typically, landlords like to know from previous landlords what kind of tenant you are, information such as whether you’re noisy, if you abide by pet policies and so on. This comes in the form of a landlord reference that you might consider attaching to the application as another means of improving your chances of getting selected.

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Sign the lease

Once you’ve passed all the steps of the rental application process, and you have inspected the property, checked out the parking lot and the neighborhood, ticked off the items on your list of preferences, it’s time to sign the lease. This is the moment when you talk about upfront costs such as the security deposit and additional fees. Deposit requirements are commonly regulated by the state. Most landlords ask for one or two months’ rent in advance in case you miss out on your payments, so you should bring a bank check and ask for receipts.

Needless to say, you should read the lease agreement carefully. It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of finally moving to your new place, but make the effort to read the small print and fully understand all the details before you move in.

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