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Finding the right rental property for you can easily become an expensive process. You may make several ventures out before narrowing your options down to a select few; if you currently reside away from the area to which you are now moving, this aspect of apartment hunting alone can equate to considerable costs. Another potentially costly matter is that of application fees. At many rental properties, it is now standard practice to require an application fee from prospective renters.

You can rest assured that this fee is not a frivolous one; landlords require it in order of offset their own cost investment in processing your applicant information. However, you should be wary of fees that fall significantly above the standard range of $25 - $60. If you are asked to remit a fee above this range, you should consider steering clear of this property, as overcharging is a dubious practice that does not bode well for other business practices such as maintenance and home repairs. This fee should never be treated by property management offices as a second source of income; it is merely intended to recoup costs. If you are at the point of considering only a few options, you may wish to apply at them all. You also may find the prospect of paying an application fee at each one hard on your wallet.

Reasons for Requesting the Waiver

If you are going to request that the management of a rental property waive your fee, it stands to reason that you need to provide them with a substantial reason. While you naturally do not wish to overspend while apartment hunting, those in property management may talk with multiple applicants on a daily basis who all wish to apply for an apartment. It would go against the management's best interest to waive fees unless there was a compelling reason for them to do so.

While landlords' policies on this matter differ widely from one to the next, you may find that the one you are interested in extends waivers to those in the military service or those adjoined to a certain affiliation with which the property management in some way partners. This information may be readily available, but chances are you need to ask specific questions to find out. Even if your employment and affiliations are not aligned with any typical fee waivers, you may be able to avoid the fee if you propose a circumstantial waiver.

Circumstantial Fee Waivers

What some of those in property management have been known to do is promise to drop the fee in the specific circumstance that your application is approved and that you then choose to lease an apartment with that establishment. For that matter, some offices will display this information prominently to attract area apartment hunters. If you do not see any indication of an ongoing similar promotion, you can certainly ask. In lieu of a technical waiver of the fee, some management offices choose to apply your application cost toward your first month of rent.

In between the establishments that offer either fee waivers or application of fees to the first month's rent and those that never make such offerings, there are certain places that run similar promotions for an announced period of time. You can normally keep an eye out for such promotions by driving by apartment complexes and looking for signage, looking in the classified section of the newspaper, or simply calling to ask. Asking property management to waive a lease application fee is always to your benefit when such an offer is not already forthcoming.

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