Looking for a new apartment to call “home?” It’s always exciting to open a new chapter in life, but don’t get ahead of yourself. There are hurdles to overcome before you’re settled into your new apartment. One of the key issues in the application process. Applying for an apartment can be more expensive and difficult than you might realize. Before you leap in, keep these considerations in mind.
1. Proving Your Income
You have your monthly rent budget, but you don’t just need to be able to afford the apartment. You need to prove to the landlord that you can afford it too. They’ll usually want your income to be a certain percentage higher than the monthly rent.
This presents a challenge if you get paid in cash because most landlords want to see recent pay stubs. You could use a pay stubs generator to create a record of the payments you receive. Be prepared to back them up with bank statements in case the landlord asks, though.
2. Affording the Move-In Costs
The rent isn’t the only cost to consider while applying for an apartment. Before you move in, the landlord may require a security deposit, application fees, processing fees, pet fees or pet deposits, and other possible expenses.
All this adds up and it could cost thousands of dollars beyond the first month’s rent. Make sure you get a list of all move-in costs upfront and that you have enough savings to cover them before you apply.
3. Managing the Timeline
Timing is challenging when you’re looking for a new apartment. You want some overlap between the new apartment and your old apartment so you have time to move. However, you’re paying rent for two homes during that period so you don’t want more overlapping time than you need.
Find out a solid date when your new apartment will be ready to move in. Ask if you can choose your move-in date as well.
4. Demonstrating Responsibility
Before renting to you, landlords need to feel confident that you’ll pay rent every month on time. There are several ways they assess your reliability, and you want all of them to go in your favor.
One major factor is your credit score. Most landlords require at least a 650 credit score for tenants. Find out your credit score before you apply so you know what to expect.
The landlord will likely call your past landlords for a reference too. Don’t burn bridges; stay on good terms with landlords even when you know you’re moving out.
5. Including All Parties
Landlords typically want to know everyone who will be living in the apartment, whether the lease is in their name or not. The standards are different for residents compared to lessees, though.
The landlord will check each lessee’s credit score, income verification, and rental references. They’ll do a criminal background check on all lessees too.
For residents, landlords usually don’t check their credit or income because they’re not liable for the rent. They will, however, check their criminal background.
Preparing Ahead for Applying for an Apartment
When you’re applying for an apartment, there’s a lot to keep in mind. The considerations above can help you know what to expect so you’re prepared for anything that comes your way.
For more top tips on apartment hunting, check out more articles on our blog.