3 Tips That Will Help You Get Into A Unit
Sometimes it feels like the rental market is more competitive that the buying/selling market and that because sometimes it really is. Just like any market, there are fluctuations, but because of the short term nature of a rental (one year compared to the average five years for buying a home) it’s just a more high speed up and down pattern. This coupled with the pressure of giving your possible current rental two months notice, students going to school away from home or new immigrants coming from overseas means more people seeking to find somewhere to live urgently and more reasons for a landlord to go with someone other than you.
This doesn’t mean that there’s no hope though! While we are gearing into a busy rental time, there are things you can proactively do to get a leg up on the competition which can ensure you have a unit locked down when you need it. Keep reading to see what might help you to succeed.
1. Use A Realtor
Not only are realtors already a bank of knowledge and connections, but they will also get paid through the landlord, not from the tenant, meaning they are as accessible as ever for anyone to make use of. Be communicative, patient, and realistic and there’s no reason why you won’t be able to find a place with the help of an expert, especially if you can go with one who specializes in the area(s) you are looking to be in. Even if nothing is available, they can keep an ongoing search set up for you and maybe even come across off market listings (meaning less competition for you!). Finally, if you’ve rented before, you probably know how extensive and sometimes even unpleasant the process of renting can be. Realtors can help you learn your rights as a tenant and they can make the experience less invasive feeling and overall more secure. It’s good to have someone looking out for you!
2. Have Your Documents Ready Beforehand
This is probably the most important tip I can give. There are certain documents that every landlord or property manager will ask for so it saves you and your potential lesser time and energy if you have it ready upfront-even before seeing the property, so if you like what you see, you can start the process asap! Have the following things ready to go and you’ll be in every landlord’s golden books forever:
1. Employment Letter
Have an updated letter of employment stating your salary (or wages), position, and length of employment. Don’t be afraid to ask your employer for a letter or contact your company’s HR department, this is a common request.
2. Recent Paystubs
Provide at lease 2-3 recent pay stubs to show proof income. This helps to show your landlord consistency in income and to ensure your rent is within a certain percentage of your income (ideally no more than 30-35%).
3. Rental Application
While each place you apply to will need it’s own rental application, it’s helpful to fill it out once online with consistent information like previous addresses, current occupation info, references, etc. and then just leave the changing information (like address of place you’re applying to) blank so that you can easily fill and print it out as you need.
4. Updated Credit Report
Having this report ready is important during the offer process. This a snapshot of your financial history. Landlords want to ensure that tenants don’t have a history of delinquent payments or problems handling their money.
These will usually be written in the rental application, but it’ll speed everything along if you have these ready to go as well. Make sure you already have permission from whoever you plan to refer to you know will speak to your character. This helps to paint a picture as to you are as person. Wouldn’t you want to know exactly who is living and making use of your investment property if you were a landlord?
3. Write A Bio
Landlords typically get to know who you are through the paperwork you prove (mostly numbers). That doesn’t really show who you really are as an individual though. We always recommend providing a short but sweet writeup about your passions, interests, and hobbies as well as why you want to live at the place you’re applying to. This way both agents and landlords can get a good idea as to who the next tenant living in their investment will be. Give yourself that extra boost and share a little bit about yourself, you never know what might catch their attention. Who knows, maybe you’ll even share a common interest!
First time lessee’s have it the hardest because of their lack of history, but once you get into a place, moving and applying to new places will get easier. Make sure you’re hitting all the marks that are available to you and you’ll have the least amount of stress and problems. Getting help and being prepared are more than half the battle so help yourself by being prepared at all times! You never know when the perfect place will be available!