*Make sure to read to the bottom for note about Zillow, Trulia, etc...
1. TIMING: You must be ready and willing to move within the next 2 or 3 weeks.
*Have you given notice to your landlord? Wait until you are ready to move in this time period. No new landlord is going to wait a month for you to move in when he/she could accept a tenant ready right now. You should have given your current landlord notice, and be prepared to sign a 1 year lease.
2. NO EVICTIONS: You must not have any Evictions that show on your credit reports, or on public records, etc.
*Here in Las Vegas, Management companies will not rent to you if you've had an Eviction. You might be able to find a private party/private owner/landlord that will take a larger rent deposit, but the deposit better be large, like 6 months up front. With an eviction, your only hope is to rent week-to-week from something like Siegel Suites. Your second option would be to satisfy the eviction and have it show "Paid" on your credit report which could take several weeks to be updated.
3. CREDIT: Property management companies will verify credit history, and rental history with your former landlord. A 620+ credit score is usually the minimum, but can be overlooked by a sympathetic landlord if you are willing to put down a larger deposit. Usually twice the normal amount. After all, it is the landlord that makes the final decision to rent or not to rent, not the property manager.
4. INCOME: Proof of income is required, all management companies are looking for 3 times the amount of the rent for your income. For instance, if the rent is going to be $1,000 per month, your "gross income" should be $3,000 per month. (Gross income is before taxes...Net income is what you actually bring home after taxes.)
*Copies of your current paycheck stubs covering one month if you are employed. If self-employed you can use 12 months bank statements or tax returns.
5. PHOTO IDENTIFICATION: Just about every management company will require a copy of your picture ID. *Criminal background checks may be done as well. New D.O.J. letter states that your former criminal background alone cannot be a reason to deny an applicant from renting.
6. COST TO APPLY: $50 per adult applicant, plus $100 holding deposit
*Most property management companies will charge NON-REFUNDABLE $50-$75 dollars per adult applicant to process the application. Some will charge a holding deposit that will go toward the overall deposit if your application is accepted or will be returned to you in unaccepted.
7. DEPOSITS: Security Deposits are usually equal to 1 months rent, paid upfront before you move in. If rent is $1,000 per month, it will cost you $2,000 to move in on the 1st of the month. Other fees that you need to be aware of are a KEY fee/deposit, PET fee/deposit, CLEANING fee/deposit, and a MOVE-IN/ADMIN fee/deposit.
*Ask for all the fees up front, so there are no surprises later!
8. MULTIPLE APPLICANTS: If there are 3+ adult applicants that are NOT family, trying to apply for the home, you may have a problem if each applicant can't qualify for the rent on their own. It may be better to have one ore two apply, and the other adult applicants listed as occupants...
9. PETS: If you have pets, it is better to address this up front, their breed and how many pets. Again it is up to the landlord to approve the type of pets, although the property manager may advise them against it.
10. INSURANCE: PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT... Many landlords will want you to purchase RENTERS INSURANCE, this is a No-Brainer! The benefits are huge for the renter and the cost is extremely affordable.
*It may not be required, but I would look into getting a policy or at least speak to an insurance agent so they can go over all the benefits with you, and how it protects your personal belongings.
Last but not least... ZILLOW TRULIA RENTALS HOTPADS and other such websites are what we call "Leader-Sites." These are marketing and advertising sites that do not use the most current and accurate information. This is why many homes will already be off the market OR priced differently by the time we speak. When I send you properties, they will be FRESH OFF THE M.L.S.!!! Nothing but the best for you... I look forward to working with you.