I have so far over 20 lease listings this year and a lot of times agents and applicants ask me how they can prepare strong applications that will be accepted by landlords. Actually, the answer is very simple – Follow the Instructions and be Straight Forward with the landlords.
Most of the time, the listing agent include the required document for application in the MLS remarks. The common requirements are C.A.R. (California Association of Realtor) application or any formal written application form, recent credit report within 30 days that also show the credit scores, and most recent 2 pay stubs for income verification. Some rental agencies might charge an application fee and some might not. The rental screening fee is usually between $25 to $50 a person. (C.A.R. advised cannot charge over $30).
Other than the complete application package, it is very important that applicants or applicants’ agents communicate the intend of the lease with the listing agent/landlord. A lot of renters now have or have been through financial difficulties and that is why they are renting. Everyone has a different story and sometimes it is very hard for landlords to keep up with everyone’s reasons for moving. It would be best if the applicants can send landlord a short letter of intend/explanation to accompany their applications.
Believe me or not, there are not that many good lease properties out there, and the good ones usually receive multiple applications. By being proactive as the applicant definitely will increase the chances of getting your application accepted.
In addition, a lot of tenants might jump from agents to agents for rentals. They might think that by going to the listing agent, there is a greater chance of them getting the lease. There is no definite answer to that. However, what I’ve found is that I like to work with agents that know their clients well. Lease transactions can move really fast. If you are thinking about working with an agent, you should find one that will represent you in the best possible manner. Your agent should have your complete application file ready before you even go on showing appointments. By doing so, you will not miss out on any homes that you like because your file is not complete.
Questions and comments are very welcomed!