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What are the Documents needed for Renting an Apartment?

You found an apartment that checks off all the necessary points on your rental documents and checklist. In other words, you fell in love with the place! Now it’s time to tackle the apartment application process, but don’t worry, we’re here to help. Below is everything you need to know about apartment rental applications.

The key to a successful apartment application is to provide enough information to prove your potential landlord that you are trustworthy and able to pay rent on time. So here is what you need to rent an apartment:

  • Your personal contact information

The landlord will need to communicate with you, so make sure you are responsive and provide the easiest way to reach you, be it your phone number, email, or another method.

  • Your social security number

Usually, you will need to provide your social security number. The landlord may also ask for a copy of your social security card. This information is necessary for a background check.

  • Your vehicle information

If you are looking to apply for a parking spot, you will need to provide details about your car. Have the make and model, year, and license plate number information all on hand. The property manager may also ask for the car’s insurance information.

  • Your driver’s license number or state ID

This information is proof of your identity and may also be needed for that parking spot you’re after.

  • Current and previous address/rental information

This information is also needed for your background check. Also, the landlord may want to check in with your previous landlords for referrals.

  • Current and previous employment information

Again, this information is necessary for your criminal background check. Note your occupation, company name, and phone number in the paperwork so that your landlord may verify your employment.

  • Proof of income

Pay stubs, tax returns, or some other proof of income is going to be required for your application.

  • Past landlords and personal references

A potential landlord will likely want to speak with your previous landlords to verify your rental history and demeanor as a tenant. They may also ask for personal references, such as your boss, to confirm your employment and character.

Make sure to check out our article on who to select as a rental reference for your apartment application for tips. It explores different options as well as their pros and cons. If you already know who is going to be your reference, you can go ahead and send them one of our rental reference letter templates.

  • Emergency Contact

In case the landlord is unable to reach you or a medical emergency takes place, they may need to contact someone close to you, so choose wisely.

  • Cover letter

Think of your apartment application as a job interview process. To better represent yourself and answer any questions that may arise, you can put together a cover letter. Other people get to talk to you in your references, but this is where you can be your advocate.

  • Cosigner application

If you have a cosigner, make sure that they fill out their part of the application, too.

  • Any additional documents the landlord may request

Landlords may want to see some additional paperwork. Check with the leasing office early to know what else you need to complete your apartment application. For example, if you have a pet, you might want to provide a pet resume to predispose your potential landlord to your best bud.

The idea is that you have a better chance of getting an apartment you want if the landlord sees you as someone responsible and reliable, and a good way to do that is to show how easy you'd be to work with. So here's what you should have handy when you are looking for a new place to rent:

  • A copy of a rental agreement that was filled out online (so that no one has to decipher your writing).
  • A copy of your credit report.
  • A letter of reference from a landlord.
  • A copy of your most recent apartment lease.
  • Employment verification, including three recent pay stubs and your most recent W-2 or tax returns.
  • A summary of yourself and your lifestyle.
  • Details about your dog, cat, or any other pet.

General FAQs

  • Are Stubs necessary to buy an apartment?

  • Is Credit Check Necessary for Buying or renting an Apartment?

  • How to get a Rental Application Sanctioned?

  • How long does it take for a rental application to get sanctioned?

  • What is the average apartment application fee?

Read More