A few years back, a renter’s biggest worry was just finding a place where the Craigslist posting was accurate (so, you said this place had an ocean view?).
But these days renters can’t be choosers.
If you’re looking for a place to rent, you’re going to need to stand out. Here are three tips to stand out as a prospective tenant.
1. Make a good first impression
Take the first impression very seriously. Meeting your potential landlords for the first time is kind of like meeting your boyfriend or girlfriend’s parent. They just want to know three things about you: 1) that you’re responsible, 2) that you’ll take care of their property and 3) that you’ll pay the bills.
2. Bring documents
Bring documents that show your potential landlord what an awesome tenant you’re going to be. Your credit report, resume and previous landlord references are all things that show what a responsible candidate you are. Just remember to let your references know!
3. Go beyond the application form
It’s especially tough trying to rent as a young person. Landlords often think we’re super irresponsible – that we’ll throw massive house parties, never do the dishes and never pay our rent on time because we’re either broke or we blow our money on food that we cannot afford (have you seen Instagram?). So you need to stand out as a human. Don’t let them think you’re just a bunch of stereotypes – write a cover letter, write a personal bio, include a photo of yourself and your roommate and your pets (especially your pets! If they’re allowed in the building).
Bonus tip: If you have a gap in your employment history or some issue with your credit report, it’s great to explain that in your cover letter.
For a different perspective, read this advice from a local landlord about what she looks for in a tenant.