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Application Evaluation

Landlords are ultimately evaluating risk. Apartment renting is all about risk management (for example, the interest on your loans is your risk evaluation by the lender for instance).

So, are you curious about what landlords take into consideration when applying for an apartment or a house? Landlords evaluate the ability of the applicant to fulfill the entire rental agreement. If it is an apartment inside a community, the probability of conflicts between neighbors and other residents will also be evaluated. 

Why an Application for an Apartment is Evaluated

Your application is assessed by your future landlord to determine your risk as a future tenant. Renting is all about risk management. By providing your landlord complete transparency in your application, it can go a long way to increasing your chances of approval for a lease. 

What is an Apartment Application Evaluation?

An application for an apartment to rent is performed by a landlord or a property manager. The purpose is to determine whether they will be issuing a lease and accepting you as a tenant. 
A rental application evaluation otherwise called a ‘tenant screening,’ involves a background check. All the terms listed on your application such as your employment history, your financial status, affordability, and questions posed by the landlord are carefully assessed prior to approving a lease. Your landlord needs to be confident that you can afford the rent, and you will adhere to the terms of the lease. An apartment lease agreement will detail the responsibilities of the tenancy. Your application is evaluated according to the fulfilment of a future lease. The terms in the agreement include the duration of the lease, the security deposit, and the monthly rent.

What is Requested on a Lease Application?

When you apply for a lease, be sure to have all your supporting documentation ready. A landlord treats applications on a first come first served basis. If you haven’t planned accordingly, you could miss out on the desired approval. 

Updated Identity Documents

Your social security or residential permit for foreign nationals along with proof of your current address are requested. 

Proof of Employment and Earnings

Provide 3 months bank statements, and proof of an updated payslip (which is proof of employment). 
If you are working for less than 3 months, a copy of the employment contract must be included with your application.

Updated Contact Information

Provide the contact information of your employer, your previous landlord, and your current residential address. 

How is An Apartment Evaluation Performed?

An apartment evaluation ultimately involves a background check. A background check and tenant screening involve the following: 

  1. A look at your criminal record

  2. An assessment of credit 

  3. Proof of income 

  4. Previous evictions 

Criminal Background

Landlords want to know what kind of tenant you will be. The purpose of looking into your criminal history is to prevent: 

  1. A violation of lease terms 

  2. Timely rental payments 

  3. Complaints from surrounding neighbors 

  4. Illegal or questionable behavior in the apartment

References concerning your character and proof of stable employment can work in your favor. 
If you have a criminal background, consider building your rental profile with second chance apartments.


As part of a landlord’s risk management, they will take a closer look at your credit history. An example of examining your finances and affordability is determining the interest you’ve been charged on your loan. This also helps the landlord learn whether your finances are up to par or whether you fall into a subprime credit category of lending. 
If you are working on your credit, our 10 Tips to Financial Stability can go a long way to helping you improve your application success. 
If your credit is less than ideal, submit proof of debt negotiation, payment plans, and efforts you are taking to settle your debts.

Proof of Income and Employment

Providing proof of income and employment are standard issues on any apartment application. Landlords evaluate these factors to ensure you can: 

  • Firstly - Afford the rent 

  • Secondly - Maintain the duration of tenancy 

  • Thirdly – Prove to be a reliable and mindful tenant

If you are self-employed, issue supporting documentation proving an alternative income source. Ultimately, you need to show your landlord that you can maintain your rent and your general living expenses with ease. 

What Increases Your Application Risk?

From the perspective of a landlord, the following factors place your application at risk: 
Eviction history

  • Defaults

  • Collections

  • Domestic Issues

  • Criminal charges

  • Overall credit score

  • And others

Again, providing supporting documents and explaining your unique circumstances will place your lease application in a positive light. 

How Long Does It Take to Process an Apartment Application?

An apartment application is typically processed within 24 to 72 hours. If you don’t hear from your landlord after a 72 hour period, you can contact the office to check whether your application was received. 
Don’t make the mistake of constantly calling and emailing your landlord to check on the progress of your application. Give it some time and then send a follow-up email to determine whether your application was evaluated.

What's the Formula in an Application Evaluation?

Each landlord has his/her own formula to estimate the risk of an applicant. There are no two applicants that are processed the same. Every property and individual is different. So, how can this knowledge help you?

Try to put yourself in the landlord's shoes and ask yourself if you would rent to yourself? If not, then, why not. Next, try to work on the problems that you see fit. Meanwhile, try to find properties that are background friendly such as second chance apartments, meaning they approve higher risk tenants.

With careful consideration of what is included in a lease application, you can prepare and feel confident that you have done everything in your power to achieve approval. 
If you are unsure of the application process, take the time to speak to the potential landlord. He or she should be more than willing to explain the process to you including what they are looking for in a future tenant. 

This way you can get one step ahead and determine how you can facilitate a successful tenant and landlord relationship from the start! 

Learn more about:

How to be approved for and apartment

How to pass a background check

How to find the right apartment

Poor credit and application approval

First time renter

Have questions? just check out our Housing application FAQ page

Disclaimer: This is being provided as a general service for the public and not specifically relevant to the properties associated with this website. This is only for common knowledge and does not assume any responsibility.

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