(DISCLAIMER: ALL RENTAL COMPANIES HAVE THEIR OWN EVALUATION METHODS AND THE APPLICANT WOULD NEED TO CONTACT THEM DIRECTLY TO UNDERSTAND THEIR APPLICATION STATUS.)
Applied for a Traditional Apartment? This is why you may have been denied.
You’ve had your sights set on an apartment and then your application is denied. Fortunately, an application denial is not the end of the road! By changing your approach and learning a few tricks to apartment hunting, you can land the place of your dreams.
When your lease is denied, we can help you with the steps you can take to improve the success of your next application.
How Do I Know if I'll Get Approved for an Apartment?
For some of us, there may be a few things that we just don’t want our future landlord to know (bad credit, recent eviction?).
When you apply to rent an apartment, your potential landlord or property manager wants to check if you’ll be a reliable tenant. So, to know whether you may get approved for an apartment, you should know what will be reviewed in your application.
Apartment lease applications may include credit and background checks. Of course, credit scores of above 600 will be viewed more favorably but if you have bad credit, there are other measures you can take to prove to the landlord that you are financially capable and will be a valuable tenant.
Factors including employment history, proof of income, and rental history are also part of the review process. You can learn more about your apartment application by visiting our guide on How to Be Approved for an Apartment.
Why Does It Take So Long for My Lease Application to be Approved?
The average time for a rental application to be processed is 24 to 72 hours. You may have submitted your apartment application and now it’s passed the 24-hour mark. Panic starts to set in. Are you approved or not? What do you do?
While applications can take up to 3 days to process, it really depends on the landlord and state laws. Some states will reject an application after 7 days.
Applications are processed according to a credit check which can take minutes to hours to complete. Other factors such as rental history, employment history, and proof of income can take some time depending on how quickly the landlord can obtain this information. If you’ve rented previously, documents concerning your rental history (late pay, when the lease was approved) are sent to the former landlord and must be verified before the application can be further processed. At this stage, things may take some time because information must be obtained from employers, previous landlords, creditors, etc.
How Will I Know If My Application for an Apartment Was Denied?
After 1 to 3 days you will receive notification in writing (email) and telephonically of your application success or denial. Remember, you need to give the landlord and his or her team some time to process the application. If 3 days have passed, contact the administration to find out what is happening with the approval.
What Do I Do if My Apartment Application is Denied?
When you find an apartment and discover your application was unsuccessful, it can be a major letdown! So where to from here?
Applications can be denied for many reasons. Perhaps it wasn’t submitted early enough, you forgot to complete some information, or you didn’t meet all the criteria. To help you understand why your apartment application was denied, let’s explore a few reasons behind denial of a lease.
Your Gross Income Did Not Meet the Requirements
Apartment applications are based on your gross income. This is your income before tax and other deductions. If your monthly rent exceeds 30% of your gross income, your landlord may believe that you cannot afford the rent and deny the lease application.
For applicants who have just started a new job, your application can be rejected based on a lack of employment history. Be sure to check both the income and employment requirements before applying.
If you are sharing with a roommate, your intention is obviously to split the rent; however, landlords will look at whether each applicant can cover the rent on their own.
Your Credit Score or Credit History is Poor
Bad credit or no credit can contribute to a denial of your apartment application. While poor credit does not mean you cannot apply for an apartment, it is important to inform the landlord or property manager. In this way, alternative arrangements can be made to secure a lease. This includes offering a higher security deposit or getting a cosigner. If you have bad credit, be sure to check out our Credit 101 Blog.
You Have Not Provided References
When you contact a former landlord or an employer for a reference, ensure you are on good terms. A poor reference or a lack thereof can deny your apartment application.
A Background Check
This is why it is so important to be honest in your apartment application. If landlords or property managers decide to do some digging into your background and find inconsistent information, it will automatically disqualify your application for a lease.
Fortunately, we can help you with Tips to Pass Your Background Check Like a Pro.
Can My Application Be Denied if I Paid a Deposit?
Once you apply for an apartment, the landlord or property manager may request a holding deposit and a security deposit. A holding deposit is used to secure the apartment while the paperwork is being processed. A security deposit is used to cover any property damages that may occur during your lease period.
Once the paperwork is examined and you have not passed the credit, background, or other checks, then the landlord must refund the holding deposit in full.
You will only pay a security deposit if the apartment application is approved and you sign a lease.
What Do Landlords Look for in Rental Applications?
Applying for an apartment can be a very competitive process. Apartments that are in high demand will receive multiple applications. These applications are processed on a first-come-first-served basis. To ensure you make the right impression, your application needs to stand out.
In your rental application, complete all the questions. Be honest about your financial situation and include references to strengthen your position.
Landlords can screen potential tenants themselves or they can hire a company to perform the research. Factors including your credit, employment, previous rental history, and any criminal records will be uncovered.
It is a good idea to contact the landlord or the property manager to learn of their standards and their requirements. This will allow you to adhere to these guidelines and improve your apartment application.
How Do Landlords Choose Between Tenants?
Applying for an apartment is both nerve-wracking and exciting! If you find a place and are determined to take the next steps to secure the rental, it can be crushing to have a lease denied. Fortunately, being denied an apartment is not the end of your renting journey. When you understand rental criteria and learn what your landlord is looking for, it becomes easier to apply for a rental and to receive approval.
Ultimately, landlords want reliable tenants who will pay their rent on time, stick to the communal rules, and maintain the condition of the apartment until the end of the lease. Don’t rush your application for an apartment. Pay attention, show up to your appointment on time (if you get a call back from the landlord), and be transparent.
Do Apartments Really Verify Income?
Yes. Landlords or property managers want to know that you can afford the rent and the deposit. They also want to know that you can afford to pay for any damages you may cause to the property.
Apart from affordability, the verification of your income for a tax credit property is a legal requirement.
If you have started a new job and wish to secure an apartment, consider getting a co-signer to assist in improving your financial position.
Remember, your employment income is not the only source of finances that landlords consider. Savings and interest on investments can also serve as welcome contributions and count towards the verification of your income.
Do Apartments Call Your Employer?
A landlord will contact an employer to verify your position. All the information that you enter on your apartment application must be verified. Not all tenants are honest about the details they present in their paperwork. Landlords will ensure that the place you work for including the contact details are up to date. Understanding the questions that landlords will ask an employer will help you in your application.
What Landlords Ask Employers When Verifying Your Application?
Along with verifying your employment, landlords will determine how long you are working for the company along with proof of income.
Be sure to notify the employer that a potential landlord or property manager will be in contact to obtain the desired information.
Can I Lie On a Rental Application?
I know what it feels like to have your heart set on an apartment and then to have it denied! If you have poor credit or a previous eviction, you may be tempted in your next application to perhaps hide a few details. Unfortunately, falsifying information on an apartment application could leave you denied and placed in a bad light.
For those who have been accepted as a tenant, signed a lease, and then the landlord discovers a dishonest application, you can be evicted.
It is simply not worth the risk to enter false information onto the rental application.
How You Can Improve the Success of Your Next Apartment Application?
Don’t get disheartened if your rental application is denied. Even applicants with a seemingly flawless set of paperwork may not be approved for an apartment. A denial simply means taking a step back to review your submission and to see where you can improve or strengthen the next application.
Honesty is the best policy, and this applies to your future rental. Provide accurate information, prove to your potential landlord that you will be a valuable tenant, and complete all the questions in the application. Not only does this place the rental application in a positive light but it also helps process and verify the information much faster!
From your rental history to background checks, prepare for an apartment application and you could be signing a new lease in no time!