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Application Process

Understanding the housing application.

When you find an apartment that you are interested in, the landlord or property manager will ask you to fill out a rental application. This document allows a landlord to obtain financial information from a prospective tenant. You may be charged an application processing fee which also covers the cost of the credit/background check.

The following pieces are typically includes on a rental application: 

  • Employment, income and credit history
  • Previous addresses
  • Social Security and driver's license numbers
  • University ID number
  • Past evictions or bankruptcies
  • References
  • Emergency contact information 

It’s important to carefully read the fine print of the rental application. The application fee is non-refundable, but the deposit you put down with the application, which can be as much as one month of rent, may also be non-refundable. For your records, ask for a copy of your signed rental application. Landlords are obligated to supply you with a copy of everything you sign.

Online Applications

Many landlords use an online application.  Read the application carefully before you electronically sign the agreement.

The information on an online application must adhere to the same agreements regarding disclosure as any in-person application.

The landlord will also want to perform a credit and background check. You will have to declare that the information provided is true and correct to the tenant's knowledge, on your rental application. The information gathered through this application will be used by the Landlord to make a decision as to whether to rent the premises to the prospective tenant or not. If you have a co-signer or guarantor, a credit check may also be run on their information.

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