Wondering What Do You Need to Rent an Apartment? We Provide Answer

Posted in Looking for a Home,Moving Essentials on March 24, 2021

By Kate Holland

Starting life on your own is not a small stepping stone. But, what may seem like an easy task, may prove to be exhausting if you don’t prepare well. Now, you’re probably wondering what do you need to rent an apartment for the first time, before venturing into living out of your parents’ home. If so, let’s find out.

Wanting to take the next step in adulting and gain independence by finding a place all to yourself is one of the very first reasons to move long-distance. Living on your own means you can plan your day exactly how you want it. But, it also means having responsibilities that you didn’t have before, like taking care of groceries and paying for utilities. With that in mind, this cross-country moving experience should be a great one, but there are some things you should consider before taking that leap of faith.

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How Do I Rent My First Apartment – Starting Tip

The first question that comes to mind is how old do you have to be to rent an apartment. If you are 18 or older, you may start looking for apartments to take the first step towards independence. There are many things to do after relocating to a new city, but first of all, you have to find where you want to settle in. Renting your first residence may sound like a piece of cake. You probably think that all you have to do is search online for a place you like, and voila! – you move in. But, what if you went in over your head, and after some time you realize you can not make ends meet? You may feel like you’ve been through a relocating scam. It’s a very possible scenario if you didn’t think everything through and planned your budget accordingly. Going after a residence is like relocating for loveliking the place really shouldn’t be your only criteria. So, the first rule and an essential house-hunting tip must be to avoid looking at residences out of your budget limits.

Relocation Budget With a Future Lease in Mind

Once you know how much movers cost and have taken into consideration how to tip your movers, you’re one big step closer to rounding up a relocating budget. And the important thing to count on is the fact that the landlord will expect you to leave a deposit, and it may be even up to three times your monthly rental. Some may ask you to pay for the first and the last month of your lease upfront. These additional fees can really add up, and you should consider all this when planning. Also, make a new apartment checklist to know what you need to buy before the move-in day. Knowing how much money you must put aside is one of relocating essentials, and after this step, you can freely start looking at apartments.

What Do I Need to Rent an Apartment – Plan Your Rental Budget

Deciding on how much you need to spend on renting is crucial and must not be taken lightly. The ideal ratio would be about 25-30% of your income, and going over that sum will make it very difficult to cover all the rest. The monthly cost of groceries is about $200 for one person. Here’s a good tip – if you plan on relocating in winter, the price of your rental may be lower because it’s not the renting season.

If you think you won’t have enough money to pay monthly for a place, consider having a roommate to split the costs. Think about it thoroughly, though, because it means sharing the living quarters with someone else, whose habits you may not find appealing. Also, ask the landlords if having a roommate means that you will have a higher monthly fee.

Take a Look at the Apartment Market

The internet has made it easier than ever to search for any apartments of your liking. There are many sites where you can take a virtual tour of your home-to-be and choose before organizing your move. It’s smart to create a list of what is essential to have and what you wish for your future home before you start looking. What you want or wish for may not be necessary, like a complex that has a pool and can add up to the rental price or additional fees. Big windows may look great, but the cooling and heating may cost you more, depending on the climate.

When you’ve spotted a place that suits you, agree to an appointment and take a tour of the place in person. Before you apply, point out any existing problems in residence, or it will be charged out of your deposit later on. If you are relocating from a bigger place into a smaller one, and can’t fit all of your belongings, consider using storage facilities and see if your cross-country movers offer it.

A beautiful residence
There’s a big chance you can find a place for yourself on a virtual tour

Get a Proof of Good History for a Rental Application

If you are wondering is it hard to get approved for an apartment, we’re here to assure you that it’s not that difficult with proper preparations. Very much just like when looking to get a job before you move, there’s a list of documents that you should prepare to lease a property. You are probably asking yourself, what all do you need to qualify for an apartment? Having all of those documents beforehand in a relocating binder may prove to be one of those awesome relocating hacks. It’s not about just filling a form so you can apply and move in – you will have to acquire proof that you are a reliable tenant. Here’s what you should take with you to run through the application as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Employment Information

Proof of employment is something you should provide to make your future landlords sure you can pay on time. You can also show your pay stubs, or recent tax return, to show that you are financially stable and the right material for a potential tenant as someone that has regular income. As we said before, your application probably won’t be accepted if the cost of the monthly rental is above 30% of your income. You will also most likely be asked to show some sort of photo identification, so keep an ID, a passport, or a Green Card with you. If you’ve moved from abroad and used international shipping, the Green Card is the proof you have a legal right to be there, so keep it with you.

Checking Your Credit Report

If you are applying for the apartments inside a larger complex and through an agency, they will probably do a credit check. So, have your social security number prepared, in case you need it, and make sure that you are giving it to a legitimate company. You might as well be charged a processing fee, which can go from $45 to $100, so don’t forget to add it to the other expenses when planning. What credit score do you need to rent an apartment? A credit score below 580 is considered poor. Still, you can avoid feeling anxious about your financial report and run a check by yourself on sites like Credit Sesame for free. Do so, and you’ll know what to expect.

Bad Credit Rep, or None at All? This Is Where the Co-Signer Will Step In

If you are relocating to another state alone and for the first time, you probably won’t pass that financial check. It may also happen if you are a contractor. And this is where a co-signer will help you lease the residence you’ve got your eye on. It is a person that guarantees for you and who will pay your monthly rental if you are unable to – usually someone from your family.

Rental History

If this is not your first time renting a place, having a list of previous addresses and past landlords’ contact information may come in handy to speed up the whole process. Past experiences with you as a tenant can help your potential landlord have a clearer picture of what to expect and whether you have left your last residence cleaned like you were preparing it for sale. You can evade this step if you take referrals from previous apartments with you when you’re moving cross country.

Below is a video in which you can find out more about renting.

If You’re Asked to Take Rental Insurance, Take It

Although you’ve already added different fees to your budget, getting insurance is a really awesome move. It will cover the damage in case of theft or fire. It will provide you with the additional feeling of safety, whether you’ve chosen to live in a tough neighborhood or not. Insurance is there to give you property coverage, temporary housing (this is useful if your residency is deemed unlivable), and personal liability coverage.

Talking About Neighborhoods…

It may be that you’ve chosen to live in a neighborhood known for its crime levels just because of lower costs. But, if this is not the case, make sure you befriend your neighbors, for it can prove to be beneficial in many ways. If you’re surrounded by friendly faces, it will mean fewer complaints about having some guests over, and they can get your mail if you’re out of town. Just be sure you’re going to return the favors.

Apartments from the outside
Choosing the right neighborhood may mean better neighbors and more safety

Details to Look and Questions to Ask Before Renting an Apartment

We’ve listed the requirements to rent an apartment, but there are also things that you as a future tenant should ask before making a lease on a property. Here are some of them:

  • How is the monthly rental paid? It’s good to know whether you can pay it electronically and if there is a fee involved for such an option. Or, if you must deliver a handwritten check and choose to send it through the mail, make sure you understand if you’re imposed a late fee, which is usually five days after the payment is due.
  • Under what circumstances you won’t get your deposit back? Find out how you can avoid this.
  • What is their guest policy? This may be outlined in your lease, but make sure to ask beforehand if there’s a limit for how long an out-of-town guest can stay.
  • Does my lease include a parking space? Perhaps you brought your car by auto transport, and you want to know if there’s a place to park near the apartment where you live. This is important to know upfront because finding a street parking space may prove to be much harder than it sounds.
  • Can I sublet my place? Subletting means that you will sign the papers, but someone else will live there. You may require this option if you suddenly get a job in a new city and have to move on short notice. If subletting will break your contract, consider if it’s worth doing.
  • What exactly is covered by the rent? It makes a big difference if your monthly payments cover utilities and services, such as electricity or the internet. Otherwise, calculate them into your projected budget.
  • Are pets allowed? If you’re relocating with pets, it’s essential to find out if your future home allows them. Also, are there any additional fees to pay for keeping a pet?

Talk to the residential management about all of this and any other thing that comes to your mind before signing anything. It’s best to get everything straight upfront.

A girl sitting on the floor with a laptop
Get every detail straight before renting, so you can enjoy your stay

What Do You Need to Rent an Apartment, Besides Money and the Documentation?

We’ve already explained all the paperwork and how old you have to be to live on your own, but besides that, the only thing you need is the courage to venture into independence. If you have already looked at where should I move quiz, and found a perfect place for yourself, find reliable long-distance movers and invest in cross country moving services to take you and your belongings to a fresh start. Also, packing services are a great way to give yourself free time to say goodbye to your family and friends while the professionals do all the packing for you. After all, it’s too exciting to take a step towards adulting, so let the cross country moving company do its thing while you take care of more important matters.

Kate Holland