Looking for a new rental is a lot like applying for a job.
During a job interview you size up the supervisor and the position while the supervisor determines if you’ll be a good fit. When applying for a rental, you try to find out if it’s the right place for you as the landlord or manager sizes up whether you’ll be a good tenant.
Just as you wouldn’t want to go into a job interview without a well-polished resume, you shouldn’t go into a meeting with a landlord and walk-through unprepared. Having a rental resume to give your potential landlord will make a great first impression. Here is everything yours should include:
Most career resumes begin with a two- to three-sentence opener describing what the job seeker is looking for and what he brings to the table. Your rental resume should also start off with this information. To make your objective great, consider what you’re looking for in a rental, what your long-term plans are and why a landlord should rent to you. For example, a single male might say:
“As a young professional who works most days, I am looking to rent in a quiet neighborhood within commuting distance of my office. I am a responsible and quiet tenant with long-term plans to stay in the immediate area.”
The next section of your rental resume should give your prospective landlord a brief background about you. Landlords love to know a bit of history about their tenants and presenting all of this information upfront will help the landlord get a good picture of who you are. If you plan to live with friends, family members or pets, include a brief background for them as well. Your background section should have one or two sentences for each person who will live with you. Make sure you include:
- Ages of everyone who will occupy the house.
- Any college degrees earned by adults.
- Job title and job location for any working adults.
- Income per adult.
- Breed, age and temperament of pets.
For example, your background may look like:
“Jane Smith, 31, graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in English. She currently works at Texas Instruments as a copywriter. Her annual salary is $40,000. When not working, Jane likes to read, knit or spend weekends camping.”
Rental history is a huge factor for landlords in deciding which tenants to approve. If you have been a good tenant in the past, show it off on your rental resume. This section should include a bulleted item or short paragraph for each previous place you have rented, with the name of its landlord, the address of the property, the length of time you lived there and the rent amount. You will also score brownie points if you state why you moved from the property.
Woodlawn Apartments—Chris Brown, property manager
- January 2010 to January 2013
- Rent: $650
- Reason for leaving: To upgrade to a larger apartment.
Many landlords prefer to lease to renters with at least one good prior reference. While you don’t have to include a written statement from each person, having two or more references listed on your rental resume will make things much easier for your landlord. Your supervisor, your previous landlords and even co-workers can serve as references. As long as the person agrees to talk to your landlord, include them on your rental resume. Make sure to include all the information your landlord would need such as:
- The name of the reference
- Your relation to the reference
- The reference’s phone number
- An email address for your reference
This article was originally published by Angela Colley on realtor.com. To see the original article, click here.