In today’s market, people are experiencing more competition than ever in their pursuit of rental properties. Most recent graduates are burdened by so much debt that the idea of buying a home is far from realistic. Even though the real estate market is on the rebound, many are still apprehensive about making such an investment. So what is a young professional to do? Staying in the renting game is a perfectly viable option for those still looking to establish themselves in their career or city. However, property values and competition between renters is increasing, so you have to be on top of your game and make yourself stand out as a desirable renter in order to land the lease you want. Here we’ve outlined a few tips for doing just that:
1. Do your research: Start by finding yourself a few realistic options. Give yourself a backup plan or two and be sure not to settle on something unless it feels right. Try to gain insights about the landlord or property managers via online reviews or by contacting the current tenants and make sure they are up to your standards.
2. Put your best foot forward: When you reach out for more information or to apply for a rental, be sure to do so professionally and formally. Treat it like you would a job interview and present yourself as mature and responsible. Request an appointment to view the rental space and offer up time for an interview. Ask ahead of time if there is any paperwork or other personal information you should bring.
3. Gather you paperwork: The more organized you are with this, the better you will look to a potential landlord. Offer to provide pay stubs or tax returns as proof of income. Gather references from previous landlords or employers. Present any paperwork you have for your pet if applicable. Proving that your pet is vaccinated and well cared for will make them more desirable as well.
4. Consider your lifestyle & habits: If you have any indiscretions, like a bad credit score or a bitter landlord, be ready to explain yourself and how things have since improved. Pet owners and smokers are less desirable to some landlords because of the possibility of odors and damage to the home. Familiarize yourself with their pet policies and offer to pay cleaning deposits or an extra rent charge. Oftentimes, being a good pet parent can make you look more organized and responsible. It’s all in how you present yourself!
5. Get your funds in order: Once you decide on a place that you like, you will have to act quickly. Be prepared to pay a deposit on the spot or within a few short days in order to secure the place as yours. If you have to wait for checks to clear or parents to lend money, the landlord will likely not take you seriously and move on to another candidate.
Don’t let simple mistakes keep you from getting the place you deserve! Being confident, decisive, and professional will make you stand out from other renters and get a quality roof over your head. Once you have moved in, get comfortable but be respectful of the space. Earn yourself a good reference for the next time you are on the move!