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Updated by Mikhail Blacer on Jun 03, 2015
Headline for What Landlords Want from a Tenant
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What Landlords Want from a Tenant

Availing an apartment is like entering a competition: it's a race against time, and you're competing with other prospective tenants. If it's the season for apartment-hunting, you'll need to set yourself apart from other tenants in order for the landlords to put you on the priority list. Here are some of the qualities landlords look for in a tenant:


Your Paycheck is High Enough

Money talks. If your gross annual salary is 35 to 50+ times more compared to the gross monthly rent, then it's likely that you will find yourself signing the lease agreement. For example, if you earn the average American salary of $50,500 a month, then your limit is a property that costs $1,200 or less.

Logic dictates that the higher the salary, the more likely the tenant is able to pay the rent on time. Who in their right mind would lease a property costing over $3,000 a month to a person earning $45,000?

In this case, be sure to search for apartments that are well within your means - you wouldn't want your monthly rent to be financial burden. This is where a real estate company comes in - hiring one will help you find a suitable rental well within your budget.


A Bank Account with Ample Cash

Renting an apartment is quite expensive, but finding the right one requires that you shell out a few hundred dollars in the process. There are a number of fees to pay, including the broker's fees, pet deposits, the security deposit, and the application fee. In order to be safe, you need to have at least have enough deposited money to pay at least two month's worth of rent, along with extra at that. This will come in handy if you have no credit score, as this assures the landlord that you're in a stable financial state.


Professional and Well-mannered

If you're off to meet the landlord, consider it as an engagement comparable to a job interview. You would want to dress up in a business casual or a smart casual attire, because doing so will give your landlord a good impression. Do not dress in old exercise clothes or in outrageous outfits, even if your "fashion sense" calls for it.

Bear in mind renting an apartment is like a business - your landlord is there to make money while you're in it to avail a service.

Being like this sends a positive message to your landlord. If you show that you can take good care of yourself and handle things well socially, then you're on your way to signing that lease.


Transparent and Information-ready

Landlords will likely hand over the lease agreement to the candidate tenant with a good background - and those who provided all the necessary information immediately. If you don't want to be left in the dust, come prepared and provide the following information:

  • Residential History - provide the names, addresses, and contact information of the previous apartments or rentals you lived in. This will give your candidate landlords a chance to get some sort of feedback from your previous ones.

  • Employment concerns - provide information about your previous employers, along with their addresses and contact information. Provide a salary background as well, in order to assure your candidate landlord that you're earning/have earned enough.

  • Other Information - this includes your vehicles (especially if you need parking space), your pets (especially if you have a dog) along with your personal preferences.