If your apartment rental application was rejected, don't be deterred - it's time to get to the root of the problem. Application rejection can happen for a variety of reasons. It could be a result of your credit history or a lack of references. Perhaps, like many first-time renters, you simply do not have enough rental experience. If you have dealt with rental rejection, consider the following tips before submitting your next apartment application.
1. Check Your Credit
Start by getting a copy of your credit report. You may find that your report has errors or marks you didn't know about. Call any of the credit-reporting agencies' toll-free numbers to find out how to get a copy of your report. If you request a copy within 60 days of the rejected application, you can obtain the report with no charge.
Don't assume that you know why your application was rejected without examining your report. If you feel the company is incorrect, you are allowed to write a 100-word statement that the bureaus are required by law to distribute with your credit report to everyone who asks for it in the future.
If there are no errors on your report but your credit isn't too great, you'll need to do what you can to repair the problems. Watch out for people who claim they can "erase bad credit." That miracle cure simply does not exist. The only solution for dealing with negative marks like late payments and bankruptcy are to wait it out and/or to rebuild your credit by getting your finances organized.
2. List Your Rental History
Just as your job history is an important aspect of an employment application, rental history is an important part of any rental application. If you have rented in the past, come prepared with a list of contact information for each landlord. In most cases, you will be expected to provide specific dates of when you lived at each rental property.
Landlords and apartment managers want to know that you will be a responsible tenant. Showing that you have a strong rental history can go a long way toward avoiding rental-application rejection.
3. Bank Statements
Landlords and apartment managers want to know that you will be able to afford the lease you are about to sign. Be prepared to show bank statements and pay stubs from your place of employment to prove that you actually make enough to cover your rent. If you are going to rent an apartment with one or more roommates, be sure they can provide similar info.
4. Personal References
Personal references are essential in verifying such details as your employment, fiscal responsibility and your overall character. It is important to pick personal references who can best articulate these to your potential landlord or apartment manager. This means finding reputable references as opposed to providing a list of your friends from college.
5. Closing Tips
Rental markets, especially in more metropolitan areas, can be cutthroat. You're often competing against dozens of other applicants, and winning requires a certain level of preparation, tact and skill. The more you come prepared, the better chance you have of avoiding rental-application rejection.
Find more advice for renters at realtor.com.