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Forms Needed to Rent an Apartment

March 19, 2019

Yay, you’ve found an apartment that you’re absolutely in love with! Just like in a job interview you need to prove that you would be the right person for the place. Your potential landlord or property manager wants to know that the person they’re handing the keys over to is someone who is responsible, reliable, and stable. Apartment List put together a list of forms you will need to do just that and convince your future landlord that you’re the perfect fit for the place of your dreams.

1. Paystubs

Your potential landlord will need to see a document that proves that you have a stable income that is sufficient to provide for the rental property of your choice. Make sure that that information you provided in your apartment application matches up to what is stated on your pay stubs.

2. Bank statements

If you do not have pay stubs available, provide bank statements instead. Usually, two months worth of bank statements is sufficient for proving your income. Pro tip: highlight your paycheck transactions, so the landlord doesn’t have to look for them. That will save them time and make the process a bit smoother.

3. I.D.

Bring a document that verifies your identity. This means any form of legal identification: a driver's license, passport, or other proof of residency.

4. Recommendations and References

4. Provide recommendations to a potential landlord from a previous or current landlord, property manager, supervisor or colleague. Recommendations will confirm that you’re reliable and financially stable, and that you can adhere to rules and regulations, respect deadlines, pay rent on time, and keep a rental property in good condition. For more information on who would make a good reference and how to approach them, read our article.

5. Vehicle registration and proof of insurance

This is only necessary if you’re planning on bringing a car with you. The landlord needs to know that the vehicles parked on their property aren’t random or suspicious. Knowing whose car is whose will make things a lot easier in case you need to move your car for reasons such as construction.

6. Social Security number

Now this document is a bit tricky. We all know that these nine digits are to be protected from all wandering eyes, but your potential landlord does actually need to see it. A social security number gives property managers or landlords the ability to run a background or a credit check on you. However, if the landlord asks you to provide your own credit reports you may able to complete the process without disclosing your social security number. In case it can’t be avoided, make sure that all documents where you have provided the sacred digits are shredded or the number is removed.

7. Work resume

Another good way to show that you are a reliable potential tenant is through your work experience. A resume can demonstrate stability and reliability, and those are definitely qualities that landlords look for in their tenants. Bring your resume with you when applying for apartments and think of it as a job interview.

8. Checkbook

When applying for a place, you often need pay a fee in order to secure it.  Without a deposit, there is potential for the landlord to give the apartment to someone else while your background check is being completed, prior to actually signing a lease.Bring your checkbook so that you can make the necessary payments on the spot.

9. Additional Paperwork

Some landlords may potentially ask you for the following documents, so if you know that you are in possession of any of these, bring them with you just in case.

  • Cancelled rent checks
  • Copy of your social security card
  • Past tax returns

10. Your guarantor's paperwork

If you’re using a guarantor, they will also need to provide the same paperwork as you.

Got a fun apartment application experience you’d like to share? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram.

By: Angelina Bader
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