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What You Need to Rent an Apartment

By March 6, 2020May 11th, 2020Apartment Hunting
What You Need to Rent an Apartment

Would you let a total stranger in your house? Probably not, and neither would your potential landlord. That’s why you need to present thorough personal information when looking to secure your ideal apartment. After all, who would you choose? The organized applicant with all their financial and personal ducks in a row or someone scrambling to produce the required documentation? You get the picture.

So what do you need to rent an apartment? Keep this info handy when you’re searching for your dream dwelling:

Proof of Identification

You should have identification such as a driver’s license, state ID, passport, or green card to confirm your identity and residency. Having your social security number available is also a good idea.

Proof of Income

Landlords need reassurance you can pay your bills. Have copies of three recent pay stubs ready. If you don’t have physical proof, request a printout from your employer. Bank statements highlighting paycheck deposits are another acceptable option, and including a resume to showcase commitment and ability to retain employment is a great touch. Often a landlord won’t accept a tenant whose required rent is more than 30 percent of his or her income. 

Recommendation Letters

Before applying for an apartment, reach out to reputable friends, colleagues, supervisors, fellow volunteers, or previous landlords for recommendation letters. Reference contact information is helpful, but presenting written documents gives you an edge and exhibits self-confidence to a property manager.

Vehicle Registration & Proof of Insurance

Presenting current registration and insurance informs a landlord of vehicles you’ll have on the property and further validates your responsibility and good standing.

Rental History

If you have a positive history with previous landlords, show it off. Either way, an application will likely require past rental information such as an address, phone number, rent, duration of stay, and reason for departure.

Credit Report

Whether you’re a first-time or seasoned renter, a landlord will likely request your credit score to confirm you’re financially responsible. Bankruptcies, evictions, foreclosures, or unpaid loans on credit reports could be detrimental to securing your new place.

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Security Deposit

This up-front expense acts as a financial cushion against unforeseen damage to a unit. Additionally, landlords often require your first and last month’s rent to accompany your security deposit. Keep in mind: Each person occupying a unit needs to pay an individual deposit. Take care of your apartment, and your deposit will be reimbursed when you leave.


When meeting a landlord or touring a property, bring your checkbook in case you need to pay a fee to reserve your dream apartment until you complete the application process. 

Help property owners quickly check your rental history and personal information by presenting the above materials up-front. This increases your chances of securing new digs and makes the process less stressful for everyone.