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The Application Process: What Your Landlord Might Ask You For

Though you may come prepared, there are certain circumstances or policies that may require additional information or work. There are many reasons for this, for example you may have a low Credit score or not enough credit history, or you may be renting your first Apartment. Again — being prepared is key. Here are just a few of the things a landlord or apartment manager man ask you for:

A Co-Signer

If you’re renting your first apartment, don’t have a credit history or even have bad credit, your apartment manager may ask for a co-signer on your lease. This person essentially acts as a guarantor that you will pay your rent and fees or they will become responsible for the debt.

Learn more about co-signers:

  • Do You Need an Apartment Co-Signer?
  • Should You Co-Sign an Apartment Lease?

Advance Payment

Paying for a few months up front is also a way an apartment owner can ensure that they’re not going to be stuck with the bills if they’re unable to ascertain your credit history. Many apartments will ask for first and last month’s rent along with a deposit. However, if you have a younger credit history or a bad credit history, paying for the first few months in advance can be very attractive to a new landlord.

A Larger Deposit

If a landlord or apartment manager is unsure of your credit rating or ability to pay, they may ask for a larger deposit. While first and last month’s rent is fairly common, they may ask for a larger initial deposit to ensure that their costs are covered in the event that you are unable to pay for a particular month.

Learn more about deposits:

  • Everything You Need to Know About the Application Process
  • How to Rent with Bad Credit

Personal References

Family, friends and co-workers can all vouch for the kind of person you are, allowing your apartment manager to see that you’re more than just a credit score. Additionally, they can back up information about reasons you may have a slightly worse credit score, such as divorce, hospitalization or illness. Additionally, a letter from your employer confirming your wages or salary can also help a potential new landlord make a choice on renting to you.

Do you have more questions on the renting process, finding that perfect apartment or what to do after you’ve signed the lease? Check out Apartment Guide’s Renter’s Toolkit — it’s everything you ever wanted to know about renting all in one place!

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The Application Process: What Your Landlord Might Ask You For


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