First Time Renter
No rental history and no credit history
Are you a First Time Renter?
Renting for the first time can seem like a long and grueling process, but it does not have to be. Educating yourself as a first-time renter can be the key to ensuring that your rental application process goes through smoothly. If you are questioning whether you should rent an apartment or home, check out our blog section, under “Why Live in an Apartment Complex?”.
Positive & Negatives of Being a First Time Renter
Did you know that more often than first-time renters have little to no credit or rental history which can affect the approval or denial of the application. Of course, it is often assumed that if you do not have rental history and negative credit you would be automatically approved, but in all actuality, this is a plus and a minus. The plus is that there is no negative credit history and the minus is the fact that you have no credit history. A landlord or management company needs a basis upon which to evaluate your application. If they are unable to process your application based on the necessary information it is probable that it could be denied. When you have little to no credit it does not give the landlord the ability to see if you do or do not pay your bills. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for the landlord to be able to assess the risk of you as an applicant. This is why educating yourself on how to rent an apartment or even a house for that matter is important.
The Do’s of First Time Renting
A good rule of thumb for first time renters is to make sure you have a longevity of employment history which will show stability. If you hop from job to job, or have a lack of employment history that will also negatively affect your application. It is also good to start building your credit at least six months prior to the anticipated move. However, with that you want to make sure that if it is a credit card, you make on time payments and that whatever line of credit you do accept, that you are able to maintain that account and remain in good standing. Ultimately, when doing any application the applicant needs to be able to provide documentation that proves he or she will be able to follow through with the terms of the agreement. As a renter you have to be able to follow the terms of the lease agreement which is more or less the terms and conditions that are required to be met to live at a specific location.
First Time Renter Preparedness
Do you know your anticipated move-in date? Have you researched the area? Is your anticipated apartment in a new city or state? Have you called and asked about availability and requirements? These are all questions you should have answers to that will increase and affect the efficiency of your application process. The application process requires participation from the landlord and the applicant; ensuring that all your ducks are in a row will make not only the process smoother, but will help you start to develop a good working relationship with your future potential landlord. Imagine if you are interviewing for a job: would you be late to your appointment; would you not bring your resume; would you come improperly dressed? I hope the answer to all those questions was no. As always and with anything the first key to success is preparation. Always be prepared so when the time comes you do not have to get prepared. Not being prepared vs. being prepared in any situation could make all the difference.
The First Time Renter & The Security Deposit
Did you know that even if you do not have credit history or rental history that the application could be approved, but potentially with a higher security deposit? “A deposit for a rental property is requested with every lease agreement. The purpose is to protect both tenant and landlord for the duration of the lease while securing the property you are interested in. There are many factors and conditions surrounding deposits and rentals.” When you call to inquire about availability and requirements you should ask whomever you speak with about the deposit process. Some places may not be able to give you a definite amount, because some deposits are based on your individual information, but if you can get a ballpark figure it will definitely help when mapping out your moving expenses. Some deposits are due before you are allowed to sign the lease and finish the process and in other cases deposits are due at the time of the lease signing. This information is going to be relative to your specific rental company. Remember, what one company does or allows, another company or landlord may not.
Up or Down? This is the Question
With all that being said, there is more than just paperwork when it comes to renting your first apartment. Now that we discussed the not so great part of the rental process, let’s discuss the fun aspect. The first great option about moving is that if you have never lived alone, you now have that option (if all application requirements are met). Another great option is choosing if you want an upstairs or downstairs apartment. From speaking with a lot of people, this is something that about half of renters consider, the other half is usually just ready to move. There are many reasons that you may want an upstairs or downstairs unit. It could be because you like loud music, maybe you have children, tend to be a heavy walker or maybe you are a night owl - these are things you should consider also when moving to your first apartment. Some companies may allow you to decide upstairs or downstairs and some may not - this is something you ask in the beginning when you initially start your apartment hunt.
Create, Discover & Imagine as a First Time Renter
Last, but certainly not least have you considered how you’re going to decorate? Do you have a theme or idea that you want displayed across your home? Well, once you move you can start the process of making your apartment feel like home. Of course you can buy items and furniture to furnish your apartment, but did you know you can also make original works of art for your home too. When thinking about furniture and decorations for your first apartment consider some DIY options. DIY options may take more of your time, but they often tend to be cheaper. DIY options also allow you to have one-of-a-kind pieces throughout your home. Not only is this a way of displaying your creative talents, but your work can also act as conversation starters for when you have company and don’t forget your housewarming party!
Preparation + Education = Success as a First Time Renter
Just remember everything is a process. The only way processes become easier if by educating yourself on the necessary information ahead of time. Being a first-time renter should be exciting and not stressful, but a lot that depends on you as the applicant. Always remember “ by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.
For more information on First-Time Renting, check out our blog The A-B-C Guide to First Time Renting.
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