If you are new to the apartment hunt process, it can be daunting. What do I need? Do I have enough money saved for rent, utilities, and furniture? Will I have an empty apartment? Do I need a roommate? You sift through dozens of apartment listings and it seems like the search will never end. There is always a variation of apartment listings: too expensive but the interior is to die for, cheap but is essentially falling apart, in your price range but you know you can do better, and looks good on the inside but the location is not safe. All of the pictures on the website could show your ideal place with that dream bathroom and Instagram ready brick wall background, but when it comes to apartment shopping: seeing is believing.
However, before you even get to viewing the apartment you need to pull together the necessary paperwork, so you are ready to put in an application when the right apartment turns up. Have these six types of documents on hand as you start your search and you’ll be able to move quickly and get your dream apartment:
1. Pay stubs and bank statements
Landlords want to know that you are dependable and are financially stable. What better way to exhibit that stability than through bank statements and pay stubs? It says, I am a working person and I am getting a paycheck. It shows that you have proof of employment and can handle paying rent.
2. Identification + SSN
This displays that you are a legit candidate for the rental and by having this information available, it puts you one step closer to getting that apartment you want. Your picture identification can be a driver’s license or a passport.
3. Letters of recommendation and rental history
If you have rented before, it will be helpful to get a letter from a former landlord showing your good character, or if this is your first apartment find someone who can attest to your good qualities and tell the landlord why you will be a good tenant.
Shows your job history to the landlord, giving further assurance of your ability to pay the rent.
5. Vehicle registration and insurance
This is another example of showing that you’ll be reliable as a tenant and will help if there are parking arrangements, such as a garage, that need a permit.
6. Checkbook and application
Be prepared to fill out an apartment application as well. Bring your checkbook for the possible application fee, and if you have the information above, you should be all set. As for everything in life, being prepared is half the battle and by having the items above handy, you are one step closer to getting the apartment that you want.
P.S. Also keep in mind that first impressions are important when you make your first contact with the landlord.