In order to be able to rent an apartment, there are usually some requirements put in place that need to be met. Landlords today prioritize their rental income so you will find that no matter how willing you are to pay rent, you have to provide proof that you will actually keep up with payments in the future. Without this, your rental application efforts may be in vain.
Can you get an apartment if you just got a job? Yes, there are proven ways you can use to qualify for an apartment such as maintaining good credit, having co-signers, and showing unusual income.
Most landlords today opt to set standards for how much of your salary can go towards rent, or simply how high your salary is in comparison to the apartment rent. A common rule of thumb that landlords use is that they require your gross salary to be approximately three times your monthly rent. Of course, not everybody can achieve this, and it is especially impossible if you just got a job and money is yet to start streaming in. If this is your case, here are some proven ways you can use to work around these strict qualifications for renting an apartment.
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How to get an apartment if you just get a job?
1. Consider Offering a Higher Deposit
If you have you have some cash that you can offer to your landlord upfront as a security deposit, you can make your application for a rental attractive. This can be especially useful when you have no proof of income but you want to show your landlord that you can make future payments on time. Consider turning in six months of rent to your landlord before the lease begins to show your capability. This should be more than enough to convince them, even if you just got started at your new job.
2. Maintain Good Credit
Although proof of income is important, landlords also take into consideration other factors such as your credit score. More often than not, landlords will take into consideration your credit rating as a potential tenant. Having a great credit rating will show your landlord that you are responsible with how you spend money and that they can count on you to be a trustworthy tenant. Here are a few tips on how you can maintain a good credit rating:
- Be aware of what goes into a good credit score – Key information that is used to deduce your credit score includes your payment history, level of debt, credit age, recent credit, and a mix of credit.
- Bill payment – Paying all your bills on time means that you won’t get reported to credit bureaus, hence your credit report will remain untarnished.
- Maintain a low credit card balance – A high credit card balance negatively impacts your credit score.
- Keep your old credit cards open – When you close a credit card, the credit bureau usually removes the closed account’s history from your report, consequently shortening your average credit age and resulting in a drop in your credit card ratings.
- Manage your debt – Having too much debt significantly lowers your credit score.
- Apply for credit only when you really need it – Amassing credit card inquiries effectively lowers your credit score.
3. A Letter From Your Employer
A letter of employment from your new job is a great way to improve your application for a rental. This letter is what your potential landlord will use to verify your income claims. Here are a few guidelines on how you what you should do to obtain a letter of employment:
- Contact your employer and explain that you require a letter of employment in order to rent an apartment.
- Provide your employer with a sample letter to adapt and use. If he/she already has one, you are in luck!
- Agree on the method through which the letter will be delivered, whether it will be mailed directly to your landlord or you will deliver it.
- Use a cover letter. This may seem trivial, but a cover letter is essential in helping your landlord identify the letter of employment and consequently connect it to your application.
- Confirm with the landlord if the letter is satisfactory, or if there’s some additional information required.
4. Provide References From Different Sources
You can take advantage of relationships you have managed to forge with former landlords or employers to show a prospective landlord your sense of responsibility and trustworthiness. Your landlord might be more open to the idea of you as a tenant if your previous employers and landlords put in a good word for you. Provide reference letters as well as the necessary contact information as you apply for your rental.
5. Look For Co-signers or a Lease Guarantor
A co-signer or lease guarantor is basically someone who signs their name on the contract and agrees to make payments to the landlord if, at some point, you are not able to pay rent. In most cases, this is usually a willing relative or close friend who has good credit and has a well-paying job. Although this is not the most desirable situation, it might be your only option, especially if you have bad credit or insufficient income.
6. Provide Bank Statements
If you are yet to receive a steady stream of income but you have substantial savings in the bank or considerable assets, you can provide a bank statement as proof. This puts the landlord at ease because they have some sort of assurance of access to these savings or assets in case you fail to pay your rent.
7. Show Any Unusual Income You Might Have
Unusual income may come in the form of alimony, child support, tax refunds, legal awards, or any other sources of income that does constitute your salary. Obtaining a court-ordered agreement for such an income source is not hard to do, or you could opt to ask a prospective landlord to verify it online or make a phone call to the court since such documents are usually public record. This is a great way to assure your landlord that you have another reliable source of income, even without having received your salary.
8. A Roommate Might Be a Good Idea
Another way you can find an apartment when you just got a job and have no proof of income is by moving into an already-occupied rental. If you move in with another tenant who has already been living in the apartment for a while, it will be in the middle of their lease. This means that you can come up with a deal that suits you both, instead of directly dealing with the landlord. In most cases, tenants are usually looking for a trustworthy person, so even if you have no income yet, you can draw up an agreement that shows you’ll contribute to future rent payment. However, before you move in with a prospective roommate, ask them to confirm in their lease if subletting is permitted to avoid any issues with the landlord.
9. Avoid Apartments That Are In High Demand
An important to take into consideration when you are looking for a rental is the state of the market. The apartment you like might be in high demand, which means that there is probably going to be a considerable number of potential tenants who tick more required boxes than you do. This significantly reduces your chances of getting such an apartment so it may be best to avoid these situations. Instead, choose a landlord who owns a few units that are not too popular since they may be more willing to deal with your unique situation.
10. Ask Friends To Recommend An Apartment
If you are lucky, you may just find a friend of a friend who is a landlord. You can take advantage of such a situation, especially if the first friend is willing to vouch for you. Personal recommendations are often just as effective as professional ones.
11. Rent From An Apartment Owner
When it comes to situations such as lacking proof of income, rental agencies will probably not be too willing to take your case into consideration. On the other hand, a living space that is owned by an individual may allow you the opportunity to explain your situation and possibly result in coming to an alternate agreement of how you can pay rent.
Does a lease guarantor have to provide proof of income? Documentation that a landlord will require a guarantor to provide include:
- A pay stub – This is a piece of paper that indicates the amount of money that an employee, in this case, the guarantor, earns, as well as the deducted amount for insurance costs, taxes, and any other costs.
- Credit check – A landlord may also opt to run a credit check on the guarantor.
How can I rent an apartment with no credit history? There are a couple of options you can consider when you have no credit history, including:
- Suggest a month-to-month lease agreement
- Renting from an individual owner
- Offering to pay in advance