Making Your Rental Application Stand Out

You’ve been searching high and low and (FINALLY) you think you may have found the right apartment to call home.  Of course, your next step is to submit an application.  To help make sure you don’t blow it on something minor (and easily avoidable), recently published an article detailing some of the ways would-be tenants can set their rental application apart from the rest.

1.  Write legibly.  Do not underestimate how much of a difference a neatly written application can make: “It’s like wearing a suit to a job interview instead of wearing jeans,” according to Zillow. “A sharp-dressed application always gets the attention before the sloppy one.”

2.  Fill out the application completely. If you’re unsure of information listed, take the time to look it up, find out what the application’s asking, etc.  You could be setting your application up to be rejected if you submit it only partially complete and/or leave the leg-work to your potential landlord.

3.  Reassure the potential/new landlord that you have all of your money (first month’s rent, security deposit and/or pet fee) ready to go now.  It’s up to you to, “Prove it to them that you have your ducks in a row and are serious about renting the property.  Mention it when you turn in your application, and be sure to jot it in the notes section on the application.”

4.  Follow policy.  If they ask you for a copy of your driver’s license, an application fee, a list of everyone living there, provide it for them.  You may not understand why they need it but it doesn’t really matter.

“Don’t question why they want it for, just do it.  If you buck their system during the application process, chances are they might determine that you will buck their system when it comes to the lease, too.  Your application will quickly get placed on the bottom of the pile if you don’t cooperate, or if the application is incomplete.”

5.  Do not hound the potential landlord or make a list of demands up front.  It’s important not to hound your potential landlord or property manager; at the same time, you also shouldn’t just disappear.  Zillow’s recommendation? Use email to keep in contact.

“It can take approximately 24-48 business hours to process an application, assuming you have filled out the application completely (see point 2 mentioned above).  If you haven’t heard back from them by the next business day or so, send a gentle (read: short, but sweet) email to the potential landlord expressing your interest in the property.”

Your rental application will be sure to shine as long as you hit all 5 of these hot buttons, and you remain calm throughout the process.


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