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FILLING OUT A LEASE APPLICATION

All lease applications are different but most will require the same information. In general, you can expect a lease application to include a general information section, an employment history section and a reference section. When filling out a lease application take your time and think about your answers. What you write will inevitably make the difference between securing the rental or not.

Most lease applications will start with the basics such as your name, your age, your address, your phone number, etc. Some may ask about your marital status and whether or not you have children or pets. Write carefully and use a blue or black pen to ensure easy reading. Keep it simple and take your time.

Employment History and Reference Checks

Basic information aside, many lease applications will also ask you about your employment history and current work. If you are unemployed then you do not have a steady income and thus may have trouble paying the rent each month. While it might seem like a good idea to list all your former jobs, even the ones that have lasted one or two months, this is actually not your best option. Writing down too many jobs does not make you look experienced; in fact, it makes you look a little flaky and less likely to stay in one place. This is not a quality landlords look for in their tenants.

Be honest when it comes to filling out the employment information. Your landlord will most likely contact the company to ensure that you do work there. Do not lie about your title either. Claiming to be manager when you are actually in the mail room is not going to go well when your potential landlord rings and founds out. And he will find out.

Your references are extremely important. Think hard about who you choose. Do not include any family members on your reference. Your mom is obviously going to give you a good reference but she is not the best judge of character and a landlord knows this.

It is best to include three different references that are good citizens and a good judge of character. Your boss, manager or co-worker, a former landlord (if you have rented before, a college teacher and a close friend are all good options. Someone that is highly regarded in the community, such as a local co op owner will also be a good reference such as a school teacher, a dentist, a doctor or a principal. However, do not ask your dentist to be your reference if you only know him as your dentist. Cleaning your teeth twice a year does not make him a formal reference.

Additonal Lease Application Information

Some lease applications may ask for information about your criminal history and may even request a background check as well as a credit report. This is to ensure the safety of the other tenants around you as well as the security of your rent. If you do not want to go through with this protocol then it is best to move on to the next application, especially if you do have something to hide.

Finally, before handing the lease application in, you should double check your answers for any errors and complications. If you have the time let someone else check over your application as well. While spelling a word wrong on your lease application is not as drastic as a job interview application, it is still a big no-no and very unprofessional. Take an extra five minutes when filling out a lease application and ensure that everything looks neat, tidy and correct.

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