The rental market is becoming increasingly competitive for Canadians in every city. Just because the number of available units for tenants to choose from is also growing, it doesn’t mean you’ll get the property you want most. There are certain parameters that different owners and managers require for approval depending on jurisdiction. Outside of meeting these basic criteria (like having good credit, references and rental records) there are 6 steps you can take to get your rental application approved by your potential landlord and get the home you apply for.
1. Know what you’re looking for.
How many bedrooms or bathrooms do you need? Are you looking for a main floor? A basement suite? A townhouse? Do you want a yard? Do you need storage space?
Knowing your wants and needs goes a long way. Just because you look at an ad and like the way the property looks, it may not suit your most important needs. Take the time to read the description and get the information on the unit before scheduling a showing. Everyone has jam-packed schedules, so to avoid wasting your time (and everyone else’s time) by making sure you have all the information first.
2. Show up to your viewing on time.
Just like any meeting being punctual is important. Showing up late sends a serious message. If you can’t respect the time of the person showing you the suite how can they trust that you are going to pay rent on time every month?
Be on time or early to your showing.
On the other hand, things out of your control do happen. If something you can’t control does put you behind schedule or prevents you from attending the showing, then let the person know as soon as possible. Most people are understanding and will reschedule with you.
3. It’s not a job interview but you should always put your best foot forward.
Introduce yourself. Shake their hand. Be polite. You may be applying to be chosen out of a group of other people so presenting yourself appropriately could give you that step up over the competition. The application will narrow down the qualified applicants, but the next person may be just as qualified as you. If you appear messy or frazzled this may portray that you are a messy person in real life. Some of the people showing you these homes are the owners of the properties themselves, so finding the right person that will respect and take care of the home is their number one priority.
4. Don’t be shy, ask questions.
Come to the viewing prepared with some questions and don’t be afraid to ask them. Collecting all the information on the home and the way the owner/manager operates will prevent future issues from happening and show that a mutually respectful relationship matters to you. Different people value different things and that’s okay. It should be as important to you to find the right unit and owner/manager as it is for them to find the right tenant. You are entering into a contract with this person for the next 12 months (or however long your lease is), so it’s best to get all the information before going into the lease signing.
5. Prepare your references.
References are an important part of the application process but can also be the most strenuous part. If your references are difficult to get in contact with this can put a hold on your application which could result in someone else being approved before you. Make sure you’ve advised your references prior to handing in your application that they are a reference and that they should be expecting a call.
6. Have a qualified co-signer ready just in case.
If your credentials aren’t quite up to standard, then that’s okay! A lot of people will accept a co-signer. If you think that you may need a co-signer, reach out to family or friends who do meet the requirements ahead of time to see if they would be willing to co-sign for you if need be. This will prevent any hold up that could result in someone else getting the unit if a co-signer is requested.
Taking these 6 easy steps will help you stand out from the rental competition and land the home that you’ve had your eye on.
Have questions? Don’t hesitate to ask them here.