When the time comes to move, the first thing you have to do is find a new place to live. There are tons of houses and apartments everywhere you turn, so the process should be simple, right?
Well… not exactly. In truth, the rental process can be quite difficult. You can’t just point to a place and instantly move into it. There is the cost of rent to consider, for instance. You also have to meet the landlord and pass all of their requirements.
Another thing you will find when searching for a rental property is that the rental market can be very competitive – especially if you are seeking residence in a highly desirable area, like New York or other major city. So how do you stand out and get a prospective landlord to choose you as their tenant? Continue reading for the best ways to wow a landlord and make that much-wanted home yours.
Know Your Credit Score
One of the first things a landlord will need before even considering renting to you is your credit score. The reason for this is that it provides a general idea of how fiscally responsible you are. When renting, a landlord wants a tenant that is going to pay their rent – on time and in the full amount. Pulling a credit history is the best way for them to know if they should take a chance on you.
Before a potential landlord checks your credit, it is a good idea to go ahead and get this information ahead of time. This is an especially good idea if your credit history is less than perfect. Being upfront with a future landlord can show them you’re responsible and in charge of your finances. It can also help iron out any potential flaws they might find on your credit report.
There are a number of websites where you can find out your credit score for free, such as creditkarma.com and annualcreditreport.com.
Be Organized and Efficient
Another way to wow a future landlord is to be organized and efficient. Do this by creating a folder that contains all of the necessary information and documents you will be asked for when applying for a rental home. Items include:
- Your personal information;
- Personal information of your spouse or roommates;
- Copies of valid ID for each applicant;
- Current employment information;
- Documentation of previous rental history – former addresses, length of residence, contact information of former landlords;
- Credit report for each applicant; and
- Financial documents –bank statements, pay stubs, recent tax return.
Know What You Want
It’s rare that the first rental property you see will be the one you choose. This being said, finding a new place to call home can take some time. Before you even start your search for a new place to live, it’s important to know exactly what you are looking for. What features do you want it to have? Is a sizable kitchen a must? Are there any aspects – like minimal storage space – that are a deal breaker? Knowing the answers to questions like these will save a lot of time for both you and a prospective landlord.
Ask Important Questions
There’s no such thing as a stupid question. In fact, asking questions about a property will show a landlord that you have a sense of confidence and carefulness. Two things you definitely need when searching for a new home. When viewing a rental property, there are a number of important questions to ask, such as:
- How much is the rent?
- Are pets allowed?
- Is heat gas or electric?
- Is water included in the rent?
Landlords expect questions like these and are pleased bypossible tenants who want to be informed about the property they seek to rent. Just don’t go overboard. The last thing you want is to ask so many questions that the landlord is put off and dubs you a potential complainer. So find a happy medium and stick to your most important questions during that first meeting with your future landlord.
When meeting a potential landlord, it’s important to make a good first impression. You’ll
want to arrive on time and look presentable. You are basically meeting them to discuss a business deal, after all. It’s also good to remember that landlords are people too, so be personable; find a way to connect with them. Whether it’s a shared interest or simply common thoughts about the rainy or overly hot weather, building a rapport with a prospective landlord is a good way to get your foot in the door.
Have you had good luck impressing prospective landlords? Tell us about it in the comments!