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Beginning a Lease

Applying to Rent

When a tenant finds a place that they would like to rent, they will most likely have to apply to lease the property. Landlords require applications so that they may check a prospective tenant’s rental history, references, credit history, and income. This is all because the landlord wants to find a tenant who will work well at the unit and will likely not break the lease. Landlords have wide discretion in deciding who to rent to. But generally, they are looking for tenants with the income to afford the unit, a history of paying rent on time, finishing leases, and not damaging property.

Many landlords also charge an application fee. This fee covers a landlord’s expenses for ordering credit and tenant history reports and calling former landlords and references. Application fees can add up quickly, so a tenant should ask a prospective landlord about any application factors that may disqualify the tenant. For example, a tenant with a poor credit score should find out if the landlord requires a minimum credit score before submitting the application – if the tenant’s credit score is below the minimum requirement, applying would be a waste of that application fee.

The tenant should also check out prospective landlords before submitting a rental application. A wise tenant will talk to current tenants about their experiences renting from the landlord, look for news articles about the landlord, and ask friends and family for landlord recommendations. A tenant should ask the landlord about the policies and rules for the property and how the landlord handles maintenance requests.

If Your Application to Rent Is Turned Down

There are many reasons why a tenent's application to rent can be turned down.  If your application to rent is denied, it is best for you to find out why so that you can have this information when you apply for your next place to rent.  First, you may ask the landlord why your application was denied.  If you cannot find out from the landlord, for a fee you may request a copy of your tenant data report here.  

With this information, you can attempt to either fix the problem or find a landlord who would be willing to work with you.

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