According to iPropertyManagement, over a third of Americans are renting their homes. There are plenty of benefits of renting, the biggest one being that you’re free to move to a different place whenever you want without a significant financial investment. If you’re about to become a renter, you’re probably wondering: What do you need to rent an apartment? We made a quick guide to make it easier for you to keep track of all the requirements.
There are more than 2,600 new renters each day, and all of them had to go through the main requirements to rent an apartment. If you have some unanswered questions and dilemmas about the process of choosing between apartments, landlords, and applications, we’re here to help. Follow our guide and sign a lease in no time.
Before you even start gathering documents needed for your future lease agreement, you have to decide what you want, what your preferences would be, and what’s out of the question. The answers to all the dilemmas when deciding where to live will most likely depend on your reasons to move – if you’re relocating to a new home because you want to move from a house to an apartment, you won’t look for single-family homes in the suburbs. And vice versa – you won’t be moving to a small town if you’re searching for a condo in the middle of a business district. Answer some questions in our “Where Should I Move” quiz and decide whether you wish to be in a small community or you’re thinking about moving to a big city. Also, see if you should look for a studio flat or a bigger space. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can browse the housing market online via websites such as Craigslist or Zillow.
Another crucial thing that will impact the choice of your future address or house is the fact that you can afford to live in it. If you still haven’t decided where you will reside after moving out of state, you can compare the costs you’ll have and make a decision that way. There’s a handy website called Numbeo that has data for the cost of living in almost every part of the world. Use it to see your future expenses and opt to move to a place that fits both your moving budget and your expectations.
Even if you find a place that looks perfect, but you can’t afford it, it doesn’t have to be the end of that story. If you don’t have a problem sharing space with a roommate or several roommates, you’re good to go. You can split the costs with them and afford a place of your choice.
Before you start dealing with transferring utilities or deciding what to get rid of, take the time to learn some important questions you should ask your prospective landlords before signing a contract.
Different building managers and landlords have different criteria for how long a tenant must stay in the home. This period can sometimes be six months, but it can also happen that someone asks you to stay for more than a year. The best possible option is to have a flexible rental agreement lease term, but if that’s not the case, make sure you’re aware of the shortest period you must stay there.
After you’re done with the house hunting tips, and you’ve found the one, ask if any bills are included in the amount you’ll be paying or if there are additional costs. If you see that some utilities are included, be specific and check which ones. That will help you plan your finances better and be ready for your monthly costs.
Another part of learning how to move to a new city is to be aware of the possible deposits you’ll have to pay. There are several different kinds of deposits:
This mustn’t be one of the things you forget to do when you move. Remember to ask about renters insurance – is it necessary, and when should you get it. A renters insurance policy protects household items from potential theft, fire, flood, or some other peril, so it’s very useful to have it, and it might even be mandatory.
Another thing you should know is whether or not you’re eligible for renting. Different states might have different laws, but in general, you should be eighteen or older. There can be exceptions for students, military personnel, and the like. Talk to the landlord to see if you might be too young to submit a rental application.
As soon as you start searching for your future home, you’ll notice that there aren’t many property owners who allow animals. There are also different types of pet policies and pet deposits. If you’re planning on relocating with pets, be sure to know all the conditions before you sign anything.
One of the things that are necessary when renting apartments is a good credit score. This number shows the rental company or property manager how responsible you are with money and whether or not you’re a good candidate for a lease. It would be ideal to have a credit score of 620 or higher. If your score is lower, it can indicate that you’re in debt or have trouble meeting deadlines, and you’ll be less likely to be approved for the rental. Landlords use your social security number to run a credit check, so you’ll be required to provide that as well.
If you plan on renting from an individual owner and not a company, they might not ask you to show them your credit card score. However, they will ask for another kind of proof that you can pay for your monthly expenses. That can be proof of employment or another source of income.
Before you start making friends in a new city, you’ll have to get proof that you’re eligible to pay for your monthly costs. With a bad score, that can be harder. In case you’ve learned how to organize important documents at home and saw that your current score is lower than 620, you can deal with that by getting a co-signer and/or a roommate. The more people with higher card scores, the higher the chance that you’ll get the flat you want.
Other documents on your list of relocation essentials are rental history and letters of reference. If you’re not a first-time renter, try to provide documents that prove your previous rental history. These aren’t just addresses and contact information but also proof that you paid for your bills and rents on time.
Letters of reference are also very beneficial and can get you to win over the competition and get the place you want. If your previous landlords saw you as a good tenant, it wouldn’t be bad to have proof of that.
Are you having anxiety about moving out because you’re a first-time renter? Then you should know the answers to the question of What do you typically need to get an apartment? Here’s a list of all paperwork you have to have:
In the video below, you can check out some more useful tips for first-time renters.
If you’re wondering What do I need to rent an apartment because you’re moving to a new state, the situation becomes a bit more complicated. If you can’t go and see the apartments in person before relocating out of state, make sure to have a person you trust that can do that for you. Then, once you decide which place you want to live in, you can start dealing with all that we listed above.
Another essential thing to do is hire a reputable relocation company to transport your belongings and provide you with door-to-door auto transport or terminal-to-terminal car shipping. If you decide to get car shipping services, choose between an open trailer or a more expensive enclosed auto transport. That way, you’ll have a stress-free move and enjoy the whole experience.