If you’re moving into a new apartment, there are some things you need to know and documents you’ll need to show to your new landlord before you sign a lease. Like a job application, an apartment application will require you to present these additional documents. Here is a list of those documents, for you to be able to have a smooth transaction.
Proof of Employment
Most potential landlords will accept pay stubs or an offer of employment letter as proof that you’re employed. If your job involves being a contractor and the like, then you will need to find another way to prove that you can pay the rent. This might mean showing your contract with your clients or providing statements from your business account or personal bank account.
Most potential landlords or rental agencies will ask for proof of identification. Usually, a driver’s licence will suffice or a passport or anything with a government issued document with a photo. The landlord will need to make a copy of your ID for his or her records. If you don’t have a driver’s license, a state ID works too.
Most Recent Tax Return
Some landlords require a copy of your most recent tax return. This provides them with information on earnings over the past year. A tax return may replace the need for employment records if it is difficult to obtain. If you’re unemployed, this will show how much you earn in a year and whether you’ll be able to cover the rent.
Generally, you’ll only need bank statements or pay stubs, not both. If you do need to provide banking information, make sure you protect yourself by not revealing your bank account number. Provide photocopies of your documents then black out portions that show private information and never provide originals.
Current Lease Agreement
If you are currently staying in another rental and are planning to move to a new one, a copy of your current lease agreement might actually help. Some landlords will want to see your current lease agreement to determine how much you have been paying in rent. In addition, this shows your current landlord’s contact information too, just in case. Not all landlords require this though but it is nice to have it handy.
Most landlords will ask for basic information about your last apartments, such as the property manager’s contact information. However, others will ask you to go above and beyond by providing letters of recommendations. So, it’s definitely a good idea to collect reference letters from past landlords or current employers. This is particularly true if you have pets too. A landlord wants to make sure that you are a responsible pet owner and providing this will prove just that. Have at least three reference letters ready.
This is a list of all the units you have lived in the past, including their addresses, and the phone number of the property manager. It should also show how long you were there, how much you paid, and why you left. Do consider keeping records of these relevant pieces of information faithfully. In this way, you will not have to struggle recalling phone numbers and addresses every time you apply for a new rental.