Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.
What Do You Need to Rent an Apartment – Here’s a Detailed Checklist
No matter if you’re a first-time renter or you’ve done this before, it’s always useful to have a checklist of what do you need to rent an apartment. With this checklist, you will prove to your landlord that you’re dependable and responsible, and it will also give you an advantage over the other renters. Take a look at our list of all the requirements to rent an apartment when long-distance moving.
Use our checklist to remember what do you need to rent apartments
So, you’ve finished the where should I move quiz, and you decided to move out. Now it’s time to find an answer to a question – what do I need to rent an apartment? The list is not short, and it’s essential to remember all that is mentioned so you don’t find yourself in an unpleasant situation. Renting seems simple, but there are a lot of things that might not come to your mind. If you don’t have previous experience, or you just want to refresh your memory, here’s a checklist of what you have to acquire, know, and ask.
The Crucial Answer to What Do You Need to Rent an Apartment Is – Enough Money
This is essential especially for those wondering what you need to rent an apartment for the first time. There might be some costs that you haven’t thought of, and you must be prepared for them, so you don’t get denied when applying for a lease. If you’ve found a place that you like and that you can afford, use the rule of thumb that applies to all of the budgeting in general, including the relocation budget – your rent shouldn’t be more expensive than 20-30% of your monthly income after taxes and benefits. You will also have to pay for the deposit, so make sure you count on that cost as well. Don’t forget to ask the owner of a property what the rent includes. It varies from case to case.
This Step Is Especially True If You’re Moving Cross Country
Finances are a big part of starting a solo life as a renter
Is it Hard to Get Approved for an Apartment?
With some previous knowledge, it isn’t. Just make sure you’re well informed about what can happen when renting and relocating to a big city, and what you should ask the landlords once you find a place you’re interested in. Some landlords might require some documents that others won’t care about, but if you’re ready for any scenario, you’ll be just fine. If you have a good history of renting and paying your bills on time, you will be a great candidate. Landlords also like to see that your salary is at least three times the rent, and if that’s your case, you’re very likely to get the place.
Being a renter isn’t exactly a piece of cake, but it’s not difficult either
How Do I Rent My First Apartment? You Will Need a Good Credit History
Landlords would like to know how responsible you are with making payments on time. If they’re asking you for your social security number, they’re probably doing it to pull out your credit history.
Before you start searching for a place, you should check your credit score. You can do it online for free on your credit company’s website or via platforms such as Credit Karma. Once you see the number, you should know what credit score do you need to rent an apartment. The answer is – 620 or higher. If your score is lower, you might get denied, or your potential landlords may ask you to pay a bigger deposit.
Credit History Is on the List of What Do You Need to Rent an Apartment, but What If You Don’t Have Any?
You might end up in a situation where you can’t vouch for your good credit history because you haven’t required that kind of financing. This could be the case if you’ve just finished your studies and you’ve made your college packing list. This is easily solvable if you’re planning on having a reliable roommate that has a good history of paying their credit.
In case your reason to move is the fact that you wish to live alone, you can find a co-signer. It can be someone trustworthy like your parent or a relative that can guarantee for you, and that can be a person your landlord can contact if you forget to pay your rent.
If you’re relocating to another state alone and you’re reading this a few months before you move in, you can get a card and put a small amount on it. That way, you can keep a good balance on your bank account, and you will have a high score.
It’s important to prove that you’re a responsible renter
What All Do You Need to Qualify for an Apartment?
Apart from the good credit card history, the landlord will also be interested in more information. For starters, you should know how old do you have to be to rent an apartment. If you’re at least eighteen, you’re legally allowed to become a renter. If you like the property, the next step will be filling out a rental application and paying a fee for that. This also requires background checks, such as the credit history mentioned above.
Apart from that, you will also have to get proof for the following:
Acquire all the documents you might have to show to the owner of a property when signing the application
If You’ve Rented Before, You Will Also Have to Get Proof That You’re a Good Candidate for the Rental Application
Rental history is also a very important factor for potential landlords. You should gather the addresses of your previous apartments, dates of occupancy, and contact information of the landlords you worked with. If you can get a letter of recommendation, that will guarantee that you’ll be a great tenant.
If You Don’t Have Rental Referrals, Some Other References Will Do
In case this is your first time being a renter, there are other ways to prove that you’re responsible and trustworthy. You can acquire personal references from colleagues or friends. It’s just important that you have someone who can vouch for you as a responsible and dependable tenant.
Provide contact information from people that can vouch for you as a good renter of a property
Don’t Forget About the Questions to Ask Before Renting an Apartment
A landlord isn’t the only one that should be asking questions. Take a look at this list of things you should know:
If you get to meet the current tenants, check with them how they like the place and what they see as the biggest pros and cons.
Ask your landlord or agency how much utilities cost and are any included in the rent – sometimes you have to pay for the internet, cable, gas, garbage pick up, even water.
It’s also crucial to know how long is the lease – if it’s longer than you want to oblige, you can sign a rental agreement instead of a lease.
Negotiate on all conditions that you don’t like and see if there are any hidden fees.
Take pictures of the place before you move in to have solid evidence of how everything looked.
Make Sure That the Neighborhoods Are Nice
When you come to visit the place, don’t forget to look at the area. If you can, see how it looks by night as well, and is it safe enough, especially if you have anxiety about relocating. Check out the following video to get more ideas of what you should know before signing a lease.
Here’s Another Tip – Get Renter’s Insurance
This will protect your belongings in case a robbery happens or some kind of accident. For example, if your washing machine broke and the water flooded all the way to the neighbor living in an apartment below you, the renter’s insurance will cover that. See if your current insurance company offers that policy and try to get a better deal with them – it will save you some money. Try to finish all of that before your start to unpack after a move.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so insure your belongings
Make Sure You Understand All the Details on Your Rental Agreement or Lease Before You Sign Anything
Once you’ve put your name on the dotted line, you’ll be very far from complaining about anything that’s stated in the agreement. It may be boring as heck but it’s mandatory if you wish to live a happy life in rented apartments and have a stable relationship with the owner. Make sure you understand every sentence, and if you don’t, do not hesitate to ask.
The Same Goes for Signing an Agreement With Cross Country Movers
Not reading the agreement you sign with a company is the same as not checking the recommendations for moving companies and going with the first one you bump into. A long-distance moving company you choose must have all the cross country moving services that you require – from cross country moving or international moving to packing services, a good storage unit, and efficient auto shipping. A cross-country moving company should also offer you their boxes and packing supplies in case you wish to pack by yourself. If not, long-distance movers will do it for you. Once you make a deal, they will send you an agreement that you should read thoroughly before signing. If you like everything stated in those lines, the only thing left is to move and have a great start to your solo life.