1. MONEY – have some – to put down as a holding deposit when you find the place you want.
2. TIMING – don’t start too soon – if your lease isn’t up for 3 more months then it’s too soon.
3. LANDLORD REFERENCE – have a good one – it’s very important to be able to get a good recommendation from your present landlord so try to establish a good track record BEFORE you go out looking for your next place by:
- Paying on time
- Causing no trouble
- Taking good care of your rental unit
- Always complying with your rental contract.
4. INCOME – have enough – most managers look to see 2.5 to 3 times the rent as your monthly take-home pay. If the rent is $1,200 then your net monthly income needs to be $3,000 (2.5 times) to $3,600 (3 times).
5. EVICTIONS – don’t have them – a prior eviction makes managers wonder if you will do it again… to them. If you have an unresolved/unpaid eviction on your record, go settle up, pay what you owe and ask for a favorable letter from who you owed the money to, stating that you came forward and paid what you owed. Turn the liability of an eviction into the possibility of a letter of recommendation!
6. THE TRUTH – tell it – no matter what you have done, be open and upfront about it when applying to rent. We will find out all about your time in prison, your DUI, that old felony assault charge from when you were 18 and drunk… better for YOU to tell the story honestly and openly when you apply than for the manager to discover your secret life during the screening process! Managers respect honesty.
7. MONEY – put it where your mouth is – if there are some problems in your past that make you look “not-so-good” then offer to pay a higher deposit to guarantee your performance. Tell the manager you understand his concerns and are willing to risk more money to rent their property. If you screw up, they have more of your hard earned cash to work with to make things right again. A large enough deposit can overcome many negatives on your application!
8. BE PERSISTENT – but don’t be rude – call the manager after you apply to see if there is anything else you can do to help… providing pay stubs, answering any questions that have come up during screening, calling your present landlord to tell them to hurry up with their recommendation response. In all aspects of life, passion is everything. If you want that house, say so!