Whether you're a first-time renter or a seasoned vet, knowing what to expect when applying to live in an apartment will make for a smooth move.
Here's a few things you can expect from the moment you start searching to the moment you sign a lease.
Step 1: Find your perfect apartment
The first step in applying for a new apartment is to find a suitable living space for yourself and your family. Finding an apartment during COVID-19 can be challenging, but there are many things you can do to make this apartment hunt easier. Most apartment searches begin online, where rental websites make it easy to find a unit with the amenities and space you need. Once you've narrowed your search, the next step is to book a tour to confirm this is the place for you. Due to COVID-19, many companies are opting for virtual or private tours, rather than open houses. Whichever method you choose, if you think you've found the right place, the next thing you'll have to do is fill out an application.
Step 2: Apply to live at the rental
You may be given an application after a tour, or you may be directed to one online. To move through this process quickly, ensure you and anyone else applying to live in the apartment are prepared with the following information:
- Personal and contact information, including photo ID
- Your tenancy history, including references from previous landlords, if applicable
- Proof of employment and approximate salary
- Information about pets who will be living with you
- Emergency contact information
While this information should get you started on most rental applications, you may be asked to provide additional details before signing a lease. Depending on your tenancy history and credit score, you may also be required to find a co-signer before you are able to sign a lease.
Step 3: Finalize your lease agreement
If your rental application is accepted, the last step is to finalize a lease agreement. The agreement will cover your monthly rent, including any deposits that need to be made upfront. It will also provide rules and details for living in the rental unit. Review this document carefully before signing to ensure you are aware of all expenses, and what you will and will not be allowed to do within the unit.
Applying for an apartment doesn't have to be a stressful experience. Going into the process with knowledge beforehand allows you to be prepared to make it as easy as possible.