You’ve finally found the house that you actually want to rent, and you’re ready to seal the deal. Make sure you come prepared to sign the lease with a good idea of how much money you need to bring to the table.
Find out exactly how much of a security deposit the landlord will require to cover costs in case you leave in the middle of a lease or accidentally damage the house. You should get the security deposit back when you move out if you leave the house in good condition, but make sure you understand the landlord’s definition of good shape. There will almost always be a penalty for breaking a lease so don’t get stuck in one that you despise. Either opt for a month-to-month lease agreement or make sure you can afford to pay the extra cost of leaving before the lease ends.
Your potential landlord may ask you for a list of personal references. Let your references know that they can expect a call. The landlord may also ask for a copy of your pay stub or proof of income. An offer letter will usually be accepted if you are moving for a new job.
Your landlord most likely will check your credit score. Credit score requirements vary, but a score above 660 typically is considered suitable. You still may get your chosen rental house even If your credit score or salary doesn’t meet your potential landlord’s requirements. A co-signer such as a parent or close friend can act as guarantor for your rent to help you.
Be prepared to give the potential landlord two checks and two forms of identification. In areas where housing is in high demand, other prospective tenants may be ready to rent the house you want so don’t delay. You may not be lucky enough to have the opportunity to come back later with your ID and checks.