With all the rental room websites and apps available today, finding the perfect room for rent isn’t a tough job. But you need to remember that you’re not the only one fighting for the rental room; there may be a hundred others. You need to give your landlord something unique, something that no other potential tenant could possibly offer. So, what can you do to move your rental application to the top of the pile? Let’s find out!
1. Keep a promise
If you’ve made an appointment for a showing, make sure you turn up in time. If you have a commitment that’s going to keep you away, call the landlord or drop them a mail, letting them know why you can’t make it and rescheduling it to some other day. That seems like a decent thing to do, isn’t it? Don’t call them after two weeks and ask them if the rental room’s still available! Likewise, if you’ve decided that this is the room you wish to rent, offer to fill out the application form online at the earliest. In fact, it helps to share a timeline with the landlord and stick to it if you’re keen on getting the rental room. And just so you remember, most landlords usually work on a first-cum-first-serve basis, so make sure that you don’t lose out on a perfect room just because you didn’t have the time to fill out a form!
2. Be prepared with all the information
You’ll need to put together a few things to apply for a rental room.
- Employment history: This comprises contact information and payment history for your current position and may include the past two years as well.
- Pay slips: The majority of landlords need you to prove your income. Remember to check the income requirements of the rental property you’re interested in living in.
- Rental history: Collect all your previous landlords’ contact information (email and phone number) and your past addresses. Your potential landlord will need these references to check whether you paid your rent timely and were a well-behaved tenant.
- Credit score: It’s a great idea to check your credit score and know the report results before applying for a room rental. That way, if there are any discrepancies, you can take it up with the credit bureau and resolve the problem. For any serious issues, be straightforward with your landlord so that they don’t find it out for themselves when they run a credit check. You can check your credit report at annualcreditreport.com without a fee. Don’t forget to check the credit requirements for the rental property you’re interested in so that you can be sure whether you meet them and then decide what to do next.
- Personal references: Applications, for the most part, need you to furnish at least two personal references. They could be anyone from your previous roommates, supervisors, friends, or people who’ve known you for a while and who you trust.
3. Treat the property showing like a job interview
We’re all aware that first impressions tend to have a lasting impact, and that includes everything, like a meeting with your potential landlord. Here are some tips that will help you create a positive impression:
- Create a lasting impression: If you were going for a job interview, you wouldn’t be dressed in jeans now, would you? Likewise, assuming this is like a job interview, dress professionally, and be punctual and polite.
- Be knowledgeable: Research and gather all the information you can on the rental property you’re looking at. That includes details such as the rental amount, lease duration, security deposit, utilities included, and the screening criteria. Knowledge of these details lets your landlord know that you’re serious enough about the room rental to have prepared thoroughly.
- Ask relevant questions: You may have many questions that you need answers to before signing the lease, so here’s your chance to ask them. The questions could revolve around the utilities you need to pay for, whether the lease can be renewed, the procedure for handling maintenance issues, and so on. You could also ask about how the neighborhood is in general.
- Tell them why you’re moving: You don’t have to share details of your personal life that you don’t feel comfortable doing, but that’s tied to your reason for moving. However, do let your landlord know that you’re more than willing to move and share any specifics that prove how great a tenant you are.
4. Don’t hide any information
We all have a past that includes incidents that we’re not proud of or happy about. And that’s perfectly okay because no one’s perfect. Nonetheless, if you have an unpleasant rental history or an unimpressive credit score, let your landlord know. If not anything else, your landlord will be impressed with your honesty. On the other hand, if you withhold information, which the landlord finds out anyway after a background check, you know your chances of getting the rental room are slim. Whatever the situation is, you can work it out with your landlord because they’re also people with emotions.
5. Be yourself
Don’t go overboard in trying to impress your landlord or in trying to be someone you’re not. It may not be evident to you, but it may be to an experienced person like your landlord. Show them the true side of your personality, and your landlord will see your potential as a person and as a prospective tenant.
6. Be realistic about what you can afford
It’s natural to want a massive room with a magnificent view, a walk-in closet, and a backyard with a pool, but let’s be practical about what we can afford. We also want to have a nice meal outside once in a while or save money for a yearly vacation. So, does it make sense to forego all this to live in a fancier rental room? Not really. Make sure you research how much you can set aside for rent after considering utilities and any additional expenses you may incur monthly.
7. Offer something different
If you think you need to do something out of the ordinary to convince your landlord to rent you the room, offer to pay rent for a few months upfront or even sign a longer lease. Last but not least, you could fix or repair appliances or do a little plumbing if you have a knack for it to help your landlord maintain their property. These things could help seal the deal.
In a word, what landlords prefer are tenants who respect and care about the property enough to treat it with love and look after it. By being prepared, confident, and friendly, you let them know you’re honest and you care. So, what are you waiting for? Good luck in finding your ideal room rental!