Rental Application Process – A Complete Step by Step Guide

By: Abdullah Haroon

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You have spent days finding your dream apartment, what’s next? Your rental selection follows a rental application. To many tenants, the application process looks like a daunting task, if that’s the case with you, don’t worry we will be going through all the processes so you have an easy time doing so.

What is a Rental Application?

Just like you submit a CV for a job, the same is with the rental application – you fill in the form and submit it to the landlord. The purpose of this application is to pick up the potential renter and unlike CVs, sometimes, you need to pay some non-refundable fee for your rental application to be processed.

Read Also: List Of Document Require To Rent An Apartment In NYC

Rental Application Process

Where to Get a Rental Application Form?

If the property you are interested in is posted online, you can fill out the application online and e-mail the same to the property manager. Else, you can get one from the leasing office.

Filling the Form

After you get the form, it’s time to fill in the credentials. The best thing you can do while filling in the form is to provide as much information as possible to convince the landlord that you are a serious renter with the potential to pay the rent.

So here is what you need to pen down in the rental application:

Personal Information

Never play with these blanks in your form – write the correct name, phone number and e-mail address as your landlord needs to contact you and you must respond quickly.

Filling Application Form


Landlords require your Social Security Number for the background check, so be honest with this too.

Vehicle Detail

This information is required if you want a parking slot for the vehicle. The vehicle name, model, number, and license number will be enough to convince the landlord.

Source of Income

You need to provide the source of your income to prove that you can afford the rent. Tax returns and letters of employment would be enough in this regard.

Professional & Personal References

Your landlord will likely speak with your boss or any of your colleagues to know about your character and ethics – so be careful while filling in the reference section.

Professional Personal References

Rental History

Almost every landlord wants to have a few words with your previous landlord to have an overview of your rental history.

Emergency Contacts

In case your landlord is unable to contact you or in case of any health emergency, the landlord may need a few emergency contacts from your phone list.

Counterpart Signature

If you are planning to move with a friend or a co-signer, they will need to fill out a separate apartment application form.

After you successfully fill in the rental application form, you got to prove everything you wrote in the form.

So, Work According to this Checklist Afterward:

Pay Rental Application Fee

The apartment application fee depends on the apartment building, area, and the landlord. The application fee covers the applicant’s screening cost. You also need to pay a processing fee which is separate from the application fee. It is always a good idea to ask for all applicable fees from your potential property manager.

Rental Application Fee

Presume Background Checks

Signing application forms means you agree to deposit and background checks. Landlords will check everything about you, especially the criminality check. A credit check means checking the financial potential of a tenant. Are they reliable enough to pay complete rent on time? This question is well answered by the credit score of a tenant.

Behave like a Reliable and an Agreeable Renter

Generally, property owners want to know about you from your previous landlord. How disciplined you are? Do you follow the building’s rules? All this can be answered in a letter from the previous owner. You can also attach a landlord reference to improve your chances of approval.

Good Renter

So, you have just e-mailed the form, phew. Now what? Just wait for 24 to 72 hours to have a response to your application and in some cases your request may approve within the same day.

Fortunately, if the landlord gives green light to your rental application, congratulation, now it’s time to sign the lease. You can read more about signing the lease here.

Our Verdict

At the end of the day, your luck also plays a part in the pursuit of getting your dream apartment. If you want the application to proceed quickly you can provide the rental reference and your credit report by hand to the landlord.

The rental application requires you to collect plenty of information and it has several steps. Missing one step means pushing your application downwards, so we recommend following all the steps discussed above.

Meanwhile, if you are finding it hard to get your dream apartment in New York City, you can have a look at listings on NY Rent Own Sell. Or if you need information regarding NYC real estate market, just put your query here and press the submit button.

Read Also:

Why Your Rental Application was Denied
Personal Reference for an Apartment Rental Application
What Is A Credit Reference On A Rental Application?