Common Rental Application Requirements

Rental markets are competitive and move at a rapid pace. Be ready for any application by expecting these basic requirements.

Requirements vary based on the owner, the building, and the location. The following are a few general guidelines that apply in most cases. We advise you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for explicit inquiries.  Please use this guide for informational purposes only. UrbanBound fully supports state and local fair housing regulations as well as the principles of the federal Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968), as amended.

Financial Disclosure

Proof of Income: Most landlords require tenants to earn 40 to 50 times the monthly rent of the apartment on an annual basis. This generally refers to guaranteed income and does not include bonuses. (i.e.: If the property is $3000.00 a month, you must earn $120,000.00 to $150,000.00 a year in order to qualify to rent the apartment.)

Lease Guarantor: If an applicant does not meet the financial requirements, the landlord may require a Lease Guarantor—someone to pay the rent if the tenant cannot. They are generally required to navigate the same application process as the tenant, and earn 80 to 100 times the monthly rent.

Application/Credit Check: This document provides the landlord with the applicant’s required financial, professional, and personal background information.

When viewing a unit, bring all paperwork and money required, including employment and income verifications, pay-stubs, tax returns (for businesses owners), and your checkbook. Get a receipt for any deposit that explicitly states your money will be refunded if rejected. If your application is accepted, try to sign the lease as soon as possible.

Fees & Payment

Application Fees: Application fees are typically required, and range in price from $50–$100 for a rental building, and anywhere from $250–$1,000 for a condo. Beware of shady requests! Research common rental scams before sending any money.

Required Certified Monies: One month’s rent and one month’s security are generally due when you sign your lease. Landlords usually require this payment in the form of two separate certified checks or money orders. Landlords do not accept personal checks or cash, but some will allow the tenant to pay with a credit card (often with surcharges of 2-3% added to the rent and security payments). If you lack a US credit history or have bad credit, landlords will many times ask for additional security.
Read the entire lease and make sure you understand key elements such as: rent amount, term of lease, utilities, maintenance, pets, garbage pickup, etc.

Stay up to date

Subscribe to the blog for the latest updates

Brokerage Docs & Fees

Brokerage Agreements: You may be asked to sign a fee agreement when enlisting the help of a broker. This agreement simply states that you agree to pay a fee to the broker if they help you to obtain a lease on a particular apartment. You do not have to pay a brokerage fee if you are unable to secure a lease through a broker.

Brokerage Fees: You are only responsible for this fee if you secure an apartment through that broker. Fees should always be made payable to the brokerage firm and not a specific agent. If an apartment listing says NO FEE, there will be no broker fees charged at any stage.

Owner-Paid Fees: In certain instances, a landlord may pay a portion of a fee to a broker. Your Real Estate Broker will help you prepare your application, double checking all requirements and following up with the leasing organization quickly to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks, particularly in special circumstances.

Human Resources Today