When fighting for a highly coveted rental property, it can be difficult to set yourself apart from the other applicants. Most rental applications ask only the basics, and leave little room to show off how dedicated you truly are.
Don’t be discouraged. Despite everyone getting the same application to fill out, there are a few ways to ensure you stand out from everyone else when going through the rental application process.
#1 – Move Quickly
One of the leading causes of losing a rental property is not acting fast enough. If you’re really committed to making this rental property your new home, it’s important that you don’t waste any time during the application process.
If you fell in love with the property during an open house, ask for an application on the spot. This will prove you’re serious about renting, and help you stand out from other viewers who are still mulling it over.
Once you’ve received the application, fill it out as quickly as possible. This doesn’t mean rush through it, however. You want to be thorough and avoid any errors. That being said, you should try your best to return it as soon as it’s completed.
#2 – Write a Cover Letter
Cover letters are not solely dedicated to job applications. If you’re serious about being approved for a rental property, the best way to prove your dedication is through a well written cover letter. A cover letter gives you the chance to have your voice heard, beyond what you can list in the application. If you’re unsure what to put in the letter, consider adding any of these points:
● Why You Want This Place – It’s okay to be a little complimentary in this section of your cover letter. Try to highlight the reasons you love this rental property, and explain how much getting approved would mean to you. This is also the perfect time to add any other reasons why this place will work for you, including proximity to work or being perfectly within your budget
● Talk Yourself Up – Include in your cover letter some factors that make you a great tenant. Are you exceptionally clean? Do you keep the volume down? This is the place to boast about yourself and make them want you as a tenant.
● Give Previous Rental History – If you have a solid relationship with your previous landlord, now is the time to explain it. Give detailed examples of what a responsible tenant you are, such as always paying the rent on time or getting your full security deposit back because you didn’t damage your last apartment. To back this information up, you can include contact information for your previous landlord or property manager.
Writing a cover letter adds a personal touch to your application that allows your new landlord to understand you better. A cover letter will also set you apart from other applicants, who would not go the extra mile of writing one.
#3 – Maintain Accuracy
Most landlords used tenant verification services to ensure the information listed on your application is valid. This means you can’t lie about factors such as:
● Credit score
Make sure you have a sparkling clean record that will improve your chances of approval. If you have any unpaid bills, overdue rent, or issues with your employer, now is the time to clear those up before the landlord of the property runs a background check on you.
#4 – Boost Your Credit Score
A high credit score is a key factor to standing out on your rental application. If your current score isn’t as high as you’d like it to be, there are a few ways you can increase it before submitting any applications:
● Pay off credit card bills
● Make loan payments on time
● Don’t close any unused credit cards
If you’re trying to increase your credit score prior to applying for a rental property, make sure to follow these steps all within the same month. When your credit score is adjusted on the first of the following month, you should see a positive change.
A cookie-cutter rental application won’t prove you’re a great tenant. If you’re serious about a rental property, you’ll have to put the extra work in to ensure you stand out from the other applicants.
Be quick, be accurate, and don’t be afraid to brag a little. Make it known that you deserve this property and do everything you can to prove it.