In some communities, finding a rental home is as easy as finding an empty house or apartment and turning over the first and last month's rent and a security deposit. However, if you're in a competitive market, you may be competing with a dozen or more other renters who all want the same place you do. How can you ensure that you'll be the one to emerge with the coveted rental home? Take a look at some tips that will help you stand out among the other renters and make your application more likely to be accepted.
Dress For Success
When you're preparing for an in-person interview for an apartment, it's not that different from preparing for a job interview. And just like you would choose your clothes carefully for a job interview, you should choose them carefully when you meet with a prospective landlord.
It's not just the ability to pay that landlords are looking at. They also want peace in their apartment buildings, or in the neighborhoods they own property in – it's less work for them if everyone gets along. So it's important to use your clothes as a signal that you'll fit in. If you're looking at a swanky luxury apartment with all of the amenities, dress up the way you would for a five-star restaurant. If you're looking at a cute little cottage in the middle of an artist's community, you may actually do better with a clean flannel shirt and jeans, or even something a little offbeat and creative.
Do Your Own Clean Up
One thing that might help your chances is an offer to take the home as-is. That means that if it hasn't been cleaned out, painted, or otherwise fixed up since the last tenant left, you'd be offering to take care of all of that yourself. This saves the landlord time and money, and may make your application look more attractive.
Get a good look at the place before you offer to take the rental home as-is. It doesn't matter how great the location is; it's not worth it to take responsibility for a massive infestation or a lot of broken items. But if it just needs normal cleanup and repair, it's worth putting in some sweat equity of your own to get the place you want.
The most common way, and quite possibly the simplest way to get the rental home you want is to simply offer up more cash. If you really must have the place, and you can afford to just offer to pay higher rent than the asking price. As long as nobody is outbidding you and there's nothing really wrong with your rental background, you'll be a shoo-in.
If you can't afford to pay more than the asking price for the whole length of your lease, but you do have some cash to work with up-front, another option is to simply put more money down. Offer to pay for the first three or hour months up front instead of just the first and last month. Even if you're not offering more money, more cash in hand may be more useful to the landlord.
When it comes to renting in a competitive market, it pays to think ahead about how you can make your application more attractive to a landlord. A real estate agent or broker, like those at ABA Rental Properties Inc, may be able to help you optimize your education.