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Guide to a Winning Rental Application

two people shaking hands


Nowadays, it’s not that easy to win a rental lease. It probably never was, to be honest. Today’s real estate market is full of applicants competing for a rental lease. Believe us – the competition is intense! Especially if you’re trying to find a home in a neighborhood that is a hotspot for newcomers. Now, you don’t have to go into panic mode right away. There are a few tips and tricks you can use to create a winning rental application. In the article below we’ll give you some advice on the matter. It sometimes can be a stressful process, and you need the best guidance, straight from the experts, that’s available. Let’s see what’s in store.

Love at first sight

Making a good first impression on the rental agent or property manager should be one of your top priorities! Of course, you should note that’s
only the first impression. There’s much more to do. Imagine this scene: you’re inspecting your potential new place. It was raining for two days. On your way there, you didn’t notice your shoes were muddy. You leave a dirty trail as you walk through the apartment. Now, that’s something you should avoid. 

Also, avoid bringing food or drinks with you while you scan the residence. You could easily spill and you wouldn’t want to ruin something that isn’t yours. Have in mind someone still might live in the property.

Lastly, make sure you’re not late when arriving at viewings. Not making it on time is something that puts most people off. It might not sound like a big deal, but it’s those little things rental agents, property managers, and landlords dislike about potential tenants. 

*Note: many professional property managers have now perfected the “self-showing” process of viewing potential rental properties. However, the above priorities still stand. Always, leave a rental property the way it was when you first entered the premises.

Submit your application as soon as possible

As you can probably imagine, rental agents and property managers have busy schedules. Submitting a quality application as soon as possible is the way to go. 

Firstly, check to ensure you fit all the application criteria. Then, you can ask the rental agent to send you an application even before inspecting the property. 

Before submitting your application, make sure you have filled out all the necessary information. Some agents and managers notice that about 30% of candidates submit incomplete applications – which only delays the process and risks your chances of winning the lease. 

Additionally, you might even add a personal touch to the application. Feel free to share some personal info that owners can relate to (some of your passions, hobbies, etc.). All in all – if you fit the criteria, submit a complete application with all the needed documentation as soon as you can. 

Your property manager should have provided you with all the necessary documentation and requests to get your application through. So it’s up to you to get it done in a timely manner!

A clock on a pink and blue background.
Don’t waste time and submit your application as soon as you can.


Will offering a higher price for rent improve your chances?

Well, it depends. Let’s explain. Rental property owners or landlords are very familiar with the fact that a tenant having more money to spend on rent may not necessarily mean that they’re going to be the best tenant. That, of course, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be competitive with your offer. 

Money does play an essential role in this scenario, and you’ll probably stick out by offering even the slightest bit more. However, it’s certainly not crucial or deal breaking. 

What’s perhaps more essential is your financial and criminal background check and how you treat your prospective landlord/property manager. If you represent yourself well, you may soon be searching Austin for professionals from the neighborhood who can help you with your local move.

Show some enthusiasm! (and other important tips)

Property managers or rental agents won’t mind you showing amazement with the apartment. If you
find it to be an ideal place, feel free to contact the property manager and express your feelings towards your soon-to-be new home. You’ll surely stick out from a crowd of other applicants. Although, that doesn’t mean you should forget all other criteria which property managers, agents, and landlords generally take into consideration. Take for example:

      • Having a good credit score will undoubtedly improve your status.
      • The sooner you plan to move in, the greater your chances. 
      •  It’s only natural that managers prefer folks without a criminal record.
      • The longer you’re planning to say – the better (even better if your lease period ends somewhere between April and July).
      • Ensure the property you’re applying to is only 30% or less per month of your annual income (this is crucial as this will be a determining factor in whether you will be able to afford to pay rent on time every month).

Make sure to submit the right documentation

The last topic in this guide to winning a rental application concerns the documentation most landlords and property managers require. Without submitting the needed paperwork, your application won’t stand a chance. Here are some things you’ll need to send with the application:

      • Reference letter from previous landlords – Some, but not all, owners require this. Hopefully, you’ve been a solid tenant in your old apartments/homes. And definitely keep your eviction record clean as a whistle.
      • Pet reference and information – It might sound kind of strange, but some owners need a word from your previous landlord concerning your pet. But almost all landlords/property managers will require you to fill out documentation detailing what kind of pet/s you have and may also require some sort of pet fees. If you have multiple pets, expect that the entire process will likely be a bit more challenging.
      • Cover letter – There’s your chance to win them over. As we’ve already mentioned adding a personal touch won’t cost you a thing, but it may increase your chances.
      • Payslips – Owners must know you’re financially stable. That’s only natural. Get them ready ahead of time!
      • Background Checks – The landlord, agent, or property manager will send you information on how to complete this portion of the application process. Be sure to complete this right away as it can sometimes take a few days to process.

The bottom line

This was a brief guide to a winning rental application. If you read it thoroughly, you’ll be all set for exciting home hunting. Owners, agents, and property managers love people who mean business, get action items taken care of promptly, and are considerate of those they’re working with. We’re sure you won’t have a problem creating a winning rental application by keeping the tactics we’ve mentioned above in top priority

Apply for an Austin, Texas property managed by 1836 Property Management 

If you’re on the hunt for your next home in the greater Austin, Texas area, we want to hear from you!
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Call: 512-994-4323

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