When it comes to the debate of renting vs. buying, one thing is certain - when you're renting an apartment, you won't have to fill out nearly as many application forms and won't see quite as much paperwork as you would if you were buying a home and applying for a mortgage. However, when you rent an apartment you will be required to fill out an apartment application. While apartment applications will differ, they all tend to contain mostly the same kind of information that you have to fill out.
Apartment applications are used mainly for identification purposes, so the landlord and apartment management company that rents you the apartment can run a background check on you and make sure that you are fit all requirements to be a tenant in the building and that you are financially eligible to rent. In addition to being used for identification purposes, apartment applications are also used for approval purposes, and the landlord will use the information provided on the application to check your past rental history, if applicable, and your current earnings, your credit history and your financial situation to determine if you're qualified to rent.
For first-time renters, filling out an apartment application can be overwhelming and you may want to sit down with someone who has been through the process before when it comes time for you to fill out your application. However, as long as you stick to providing the information that's needed, there's no need to stress over the apartment application.
Tips for filling out the apartment application
Here are a few important tips and pieces of advice to keep in mind when it comes time for you to fill out your apartment application:
- Make sure to include all of your personal information. When applying for an apartment and filling out the necessary application, you should be sure to include all of your relevant personal information, such as your full name, social security number, birth date, present address and a telephone number where they can contact you. It's important to be thorough in providing this information so that the application process isn't unnecessarily prolonged because the landlord needs to request additional information from you.
- Be truthful in the information you provide on the application. When filling out an application for an apartment, honesty is always the best policy. This is because if you lie about a key piece of information on the application, a piece of information that can prevent you from getting the apartment, it will come back to bite you eventually. If you own any pets, disclose that information on the application if you are asked. Some apartment buildings prohibit renters from owning pets, so it's better to be truthful about your owning pets than to lie about it and have your landlord find out about it later on down the road, which can make your life a lot more difficult.
- Also disclose all of your past employment and income information. This is one of the most important parts of the application because the landlord will need sufficient proof that your financial situation is stable and that you'll be able to pay the monthly rent on time and without any hassles or delays. Whether you get your income from employment, from Social Security or from unemployment insurance, you need to disclose this information so that the landlord can verify that you are financially eligible to rent.
- Include all information about any vehicles that you may own and plan to park on the premises. Apartment building complexes will sometimes have a parking lot reserved for residents and you'll need to provide the details of your vehicle in the application so the landlord can issue you a parking permit for your car. If the apartment does not have a parking lot but instead has street parking that requires a resident permit, you'll still need to provide the necessary information as well.
- Don't forget to include references. Often you'll find that landlords will require you to provide references or letters of recommendation from past landlords. The purpose of providing references on your apartment application is so that the landlord can check with them to make sure that you're a tenant in good standing and that you pay your rent on time and follow all rules and regulations regarding the apartment building and the apartment which you are renting. If you have any letters of recommendation from past landlords who can vouch for you, not only as a tenant but as a person, then you should include those with your application.
- Be honest with your credit information and your credit references. The landlord will need to review your credit history and your bank history to make sure you have sufficient funds to afford the monthly rent payments and to also make sure that you don't have any late or outstanding payments due and that you're responsible with your finances, so make sure to include all of the information necessary and to not leave anything out or be dishonest about your past credit history. Being upfront with past credit transgressions and late or missed payments that can damage your credit score will give you a better chance of getting the apartment than you would if you lied about your credit history and the landlord found out anyway.
- Print legibly on the application and remember to sign your name. It's hard to fill out lengthy applications, especially ones that are hand-written. However, it's important that you print legibly so that none of the information is misinterpreted and it's also important that you don't forget to sign your name at the bottom when you're all done. Plus, your signature gives the landlord permission to run a credit check and check your rental history, in order to get the application process started.