First Impressions Count
When it comes to applying for a rental, your first impression matters. A lot. So make it a good one. Prepare to go to a property viewing the same way you would prepare for a job interview, because that’s exactly what this is. You are interviewing each other. Your clothing should be clean, in good repair, and appropriate. You want to be yourself, but make it your business or business casual self and not the you that just left a workout, the beer league, or is ready for a day at the beach.
Is Your Vehicle Ready for a First Impression?
While you’re at it, make sure your vehicle is up to making a good first impression too. Any potential landlord who accesses your credit report will see if your vehicle is leased. If your car is a mess and you’re just renting it, that will send a loud message that you might not intend to send. If you have a car loan, you want to ensure that the way you take care of something you own is indicative of how you take care of an apartment or home.
Come Prepared to Your Rental Appointment
It is essential that you come prepared to your rental appointment and property viewing. Be on time, and a few minutes early is best. Bring everything they asked you to bring, any information you need to reference to fill in an application form, your current contact details as well as those of your current landlord, employment information, and how to contact your references. If you are self employed or have irregular income, ensure that you are organized and can provide what they need to verify your employment as well as your income. Filing your taxes should be up to date so that you can provide your 2-3 most recent notices of assessment if asked.
Children, Pets, and Extra Friends or Family Members
Bring your children along if they will be living with you. Ensure that they have gone to the washroom ahead of time, aren’t hungry, didn’t just down a sugary snack or drink that will cause them to bounce off the walls, and that your kids have something quiet to keep them busy while you speak with the landlord. If you plan to let your kids use your electronic device, ensure you’ve got paper copies of any information you need available during your interview.
Don’t try to hide that you have pets. Many landlords don’t allow pets, and those who do will typically ask for a pet deposit on top of your regular security deposit. Critters, from something small and caged to furry and four-legged, any landlord who follows their insurance company’s rules will need to walk through their property at least every few months at the latest, so they will notice the aquarium, the smell of the hamster’s cage or that one of your stuffed animals is blinking.
Ultimately landlords want to know who they will be renting to. Supportive friends or family members may cause a landlord to question who will actually be moving in. Save your friends and family to help with moving instead.