What Do You Need to Rent an Apartment | Housing and Apartments | Long Distance USA Movers

What Do You Need to Rent an Apartment – Here’s a Full Checklist

Did you know that, on average, one in three Americans rents a flat? And not only does it contribute to the economy, but tenants also benefit from the fact that they have the freedom to change apartments. But, the main question is – what do you need to rent an apartment? Stick around because we’ve got all the answers.

Person signing an application paper
It gets easier with thorough preparation

Now, there are as many landlords and lease requirements as prospective renters, and you can never predict everything before you get in touch with someone about some specific place you’re interested in. Still, there are documents and things that most enquire about, and if you go through them, it’s a safe bet you’ll be able to respond to most bidders. So, what are these?

Questions to Ask Before Renting an Apartment

First off, to get into the position to assemble documents, you should see which apartments you’d like to live in. And if you’re moving from a small town to a big city or going it alone for the first time, there’ll be many things that’ll confuse you. But before you get to the most commonly forgotten things to pack or other nuances, make sure you have chosen a home and property you’ll feel happy in. Then you’re ready to address basic questions.

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The First Step Is to Compare the Neighborhoods

Your moving expenses checklist can suffer significant changes based on the area you opt for, so you’ll do well if you plan in advance. Sites such as Areavibes can give you a picture of the cost of living and safety, while the US Census Bureau holds the key to an in-depth understanding of different cities. Still, googling areas that interest you is a large step because those moving with kids have a completely different idea of ideal than, for instance, those in search of best cities for college grads.

Google the Best Rental Options on the Marketplace

Once the general bit is covered and you know where you want to settle, it’s time for the apartment hunt. There’s a plethora of sites where you can check the offer out, such as Craigslist or Zillow, and also a number of apps that aim to connect those searching with landlords. Still, learning how to move can get much easier if you know someone headed for the same destination as nothing beats a genuine recommendation from a friend.

Enquire About the Length of the Lease

If you’re not able to see different apartments in person due to distance, it goes without saying that you should ask about the size, furnishing, and other features you believe would help you feel better as a resident. Yet, before you learn how to adjust to a new town, ensure you read the contract and pay close attention to all of the provisions. Length is an important one since if it’s stipulated you should stay for a year and you sign it, you may face financial consequences for deciding that you require top-rated long-distance movers to help you move to a warmer climate before that rental period ends. So, give this one a thought prior to committing to any agreement.

It’s Crucial to Ask Whether There Are Any Deposits

All newbies and people who are planning their moving out for the first time budget don’t know what to expect in terms of deposits. And different owners require various actions here. People are usually apprehensive when moving with cats or their archenemies dogs, yet you’ll be glad to hear this one is usually not an impediment. These are the most common types of deposits to pay attention to:

  • Earnest deposit – In case you fell in love with a flat, but it’s not yet the right time to fly and complete your ultimate checklist for moving to a new state, this one is what you need. Roughly speaking, it helps you reserve the place for a certain period.
  • Security deposit – The key one or the unavoidable one means that in all likelihood, you’ll be asked to pay in advance to ensure to your landlord that you won’t cause damage to the home and that he’ll be able to repay for any broken pieces of furniture.
  • Pet depositMoving with pets is nice, as you get to have your friends in the new adventure, but it also implies someone might want a guarantee against any scratches.
  • Utility deposit – In case you delay paying utilities, some will demand an amount that’ll keep them safe from cleaning out your faults.
Person writing near the laptop
Deposits should be the core of your research and application

Some Details You’ll Be Asked About

If you’re about to plunge into cross country moving, and you’re wondering how to get an apartment out of state, you should prepare to answer some of the most common questions landlords ask. Most people wonder whether they can meet the requirements to rent an apartment, but the truth is that regardless of whether you’re moving for a job or moving in with a girlfriend, or something completely different, there’ll be someone willing to let you in their apartments. So, what are some of the most common concerns?

How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent an Apartment?

A large part of the anxiety about moving to another state is created due to unresolved issues people have in their heads. And one of the most common ones is age. So, how old do you actually have to be?

And the thing is that, while the law stipulates that discriminating based on age is not allowed, a landlord can demand to check some proof you won’t be able to present as a minor. A cool tip here is to get into a hunt and come up with insightful questions to ask potential roommates that can help you lower your rent and increase your chances of success.

How Much Money Can I Set Aside For an Apartment?

It is absolutely crucial that you know exactly what your budget is before you choose a place. Be realistic and set an amount that you can stick to. Your rent and utilities should never exceed 50% of your monthly earnings, and depending on where you’re moving to, they should be significantly lower than that. If you’re not sure how to set a budget, consider consulting a professional.

What Credit Score Do You Need to Rent an Apartment?

Everybody likes finding the cheapest way to move out of state, but every landlord also demands that you provide proof about your financial stability. This can guarantee to them that you’re not a fickle person who’ll say “I want to move away and start over” out of the blue and leave them in the lurch. And more importantly, that you’re financially able to pull renting off. And they can infer this from the credit score.

You should have 500 at minimum, and preferably much higher, to seal the deal and put the moving hacks you learned to work. And, before you set out to look for hassle-free movers, take a look at the factors that will influence your credit score:

  • Your payment history,
  • Your debts on loans and credit cards,
  • The duration of your credit card history,

The different accounts you have during application and their types.

Two women talking
Have your answers ready

Can You Provide Documents About Your Rental History?

If you often take part in cross country moving, you’ll know that all owners like to see that you’ve been a neat tenant in your past in all aspects. And if you’re familiar with moving terms, you’ll know that this can be achieved in more than one way. Apart from the government-issued passport or ID that will support your identity, make sure you’ve got a list of names and past rental addresses with contact info and property details.

Letters of Reference Can Help Too

If you’re scared that there aren’t many things that make you stand out from the crowd, obtain letters of reference that are a sure way to cast a positive light on you as a tenant. Come up with the best relocation questions to ask an employer and help yourself earn the well-deserved reference in this or another way.

A resume next to a laptop
Try to get some complimentary and informative references for your application

What Proof Is Decisive in Most Cases? – Security and Credit Check, References, and Other Application Criteria

Before you get down to creating a moving binder for your next move and learning how to do a home inventory, ensure you can obtain the most important documents, and those are proof of income and proof of employment.

Proof of Employment Shows Your Stability

If you were wondering what do you need to qualify for an apartment, you must think about this. It is used to serve as a guarantee that you’ll be able to pay for your life in the flat or other property. If you can show pay stubs or offers of employment letters, you should be safe. But, try to avoid giving away more personal information than you have to, meaning that your landlord shouldn’t know all the perks of your work life.

On the other hand, if you’re unemployed and learning how to get a job in a new city, you’ll probably be asked to provide another proof.

Proof of Income Is Mandatory

If savings were the answer to the question of how much money should I save to move out of state for you, that’s great. But to get a new place, you’ll have to be able to show that you’ll be receiving income in the future period too. Documents you may be asked about include:

  • Tax returns – These can certify how much you’re making annually.
  • Bank accounts – Business accounts if you’re a contractor or another type of info. Pay attention not to reveal anything you’re not required here as it can be personal and threaten your financial safety.
  • Contracts with guarantor or co-signer – Especially if you’re a first-time renter or your monthly income is not large enough in comparison to the expense for the lease. If you’re moving to another state alone, your parents, friends, or other people you agree with must go through a legal check to be appointed as credible to pay for your debt if you fail in your solo financial adventure.

A Good Credit Score Will Help You

A good credit score proves to landlords and property managers that you always make your payments on time. Check your credit score in advance – perhaps even before you start your apartment hunt – and take steps to improve it if it’s too low. Keep in mind that improving bad credit takes time.

Fees That Need to Be Paid

Upon filling out the application form and submitting supporting documentation, you will also be asked to pay the rental application fee. Depending on where you’re moving to, the amount will vary between $20 and $100. However, some states have very lax laws regarding this part of the renting process, which gives landlords space to ask for a lot more. Keep in mind that these fees aren’t refundable, so don’t pay more than you can afford to. The purpose of the fee is to cover the expenses of your credit check and background check.

Sometimes, a rental application fee will be accompanied by a processing fee. This one is refundable in case the landlord decides to go for another applicant. However, if all these fees start adding up to too much, don’t hesitate to ask for a detailed rental application receipt.

Papers on a table
Showing tax returns works in most cases

What Do You Need to Rent an Apartment for the First Time?

As you have already gathered from the previous paragraphs, renting for the first time might be harder, but it’s not impossible. If you have the following, you’ll have the answer to the question of how do I rent my first apartment, and you’ll be ready to compare moving quotes and prices of superb long-distance moving services. To break the ice, you’ll need to check these rental papers:

  • Your ID,
  • Proof of income or a contract with a co-signer,
  • Proof of residence,
  • Banking history,
  • Letters of reference,
  • Documents for your pet if you have one,
  • Vehicle registration if you plan on using the parking,
  • Proof that you’re a student in a certain institution if you’re moving into a college dorm or similar complex.

Watch the following video if you’d like to go through all the things you should consider in the lease before you decide to relocate and arrange an excellent packing service and boxes and packing supplies of dazzling cross-country movers.

The Best Tip to Complete Your Application Is to Get Insurance

Before you do go into making friends in a new city and all the other fun stuff, ensure you have insurance that can cover all scenarios in case something happens. Sometimes, things change too fast, and the flower era ends too soon, so you want to be ready come what may. Apart from moving insurance, which is a guarantee that you’ll have a stress-free and splendid relocation, tenant’s insurance is also a way to go as it can financially protect you in case of theft, natural disasters, damage to the property, or simply bad relations with the landlord.

Two girls looking out of the window
Insurance will help you relax and forget about worries

Is It Hard to Get Approved for an Apartment?

After all, once you realized how to go about questions such as what do I need to rent an apartment, you’re ready to go into more complex issues of putting your new life in order. From hiring a long-distance moving company to booking immaculate auto transport or storage facilities there will be a lot on your plate.

Apartments are unpredictable and quirky the same way people are, so give a chance to ones that don’t sweep you off your feet right away and be wary of those that seem too good to be true. You’ll get your own unique experience, but if you come armed with our transformational tips and the right documents, you’ll do just fine.

Tara Gregory


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