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If you’ve found yourself wondering recently, “What will be reviewed with my rental application?” then you’re in the right place! The rental application process can be a bit stressful, especially if you have a few skeletons in your closet (bad credit, anyone?). Landlords and property managers are going to evaluate a number of things in your rental application to determine whether or not they want to go into a lease agreement with you, the tenant. So, what goes on in the rental application process, you ask? The blanket term here is a background check, or a tenant screening, as landlords and property managers like to call it.
Ah, the beloved background check. If this sounds a tad bit frightening to you, then don’t worry – you’re not alone. If you have something you’re concerned about a landlord or property manager finding, try not to stress. Patience is key here – it usually takes 24 to 72 hours for a rental application to be processed, but be sure to check with the landlord or property manager to get a personalized estimate. But just so we’re clear, the background check covers the applicant’s:
When it comes to applying for an apartment, one of the first things a landlord or property manager looks for is a criminal history. Typically, as long as you have no felony charges, it won’t be too big of a deal, but it varies by apartment and property management. It’s understandable – they want to make sure they have a dependable tenant to avoid things like:
If you do have a criminal record, it can be helpful to get as many references as possible. After all, a landlord or property manager is looking to rent the unit to someone who is credible. Your criminal record is something that may interfere with your apartment renting journey, so do everything you can to prove that you are a good, reliable choice for a tenant, and let your references speak for themselves!
If you are one of the many who has either bad credit or no credit, try not to panic! Yes, your credit score will be checked by landlords and property managers, but it’s not the end of the world if you’re in either of these situations. Owners and managers of rental properties just want to be sure that you are not in a bad financial situation – if you are, they assume that you may struggle to pay rent on time, which is a major issue if you’re a landlord or property manager looking for a reliable tenant.
If you have bad or no credit, there are a few things you can do to improve your score or prove that you’re reliable when it comes to paying rent on time. Apartment communities are typically checking for credit scores of 600 or above, so if you have a lower credit score than this, you have a few options to prove yourself to the landlord or property manager. These include getting a cosigner, collecting references, or finding a no credit check apartment. If you have no credit, start building up your credit slowly but surely. If you’re in a rush to find an apartment, then you can also try getting a cosigner, paying a larger security deposit, or finding a roommate who has good credit (thanks, roomie).
Even if you’ve only had one steady job for, let’s say, six months, that’s okay! Any steady paycheck is a good sign in the eyes of a landlord or property manager. Again, they just want to be sure that they are choosing a reliable tenant who has a steady job, income, and rent payment. If your employment history isn’t ideal, they may ask you for employer or personal references, so be prepared. Other than having a good, steady employment history, landlords and property managers are really checking to make sure that you have an income that is reliable enough for you to afford to pay rent on time every month. This is where proof of income comes in.
Proof of income is a term used by landlords and property managers – it simply means that they need you to provide proof that you have a steady income. This proof is usually based off of a copy of your last three pay stubs, which you will give them during the rental application process. A guideline for many apartment communities is that a tenant must make three times the rent – this is pretty standard, so make sure that the apartment you are interested in is within your budget!
The biggest thing that landlords and property managers are looking for in your rental history is the dreaded word: evictions. A formal eviction doesn’t mean that your application will be denied for every apartment – it just means that you’re going to have to work a little harder to prove that you are a solid tenant. Landlords and property managers do not want to have to deal with an eviction. It’s a costly, time consuming process that isn’t positive for either party. State your case, get as many references as you can, and hope that your previous negative rental history can stay in the past and you can move forward with a new, positive rental journey. Best of luck with your rental applications, my fellow renters!
New York City real estate is renowned for investment opportunities. As one of the most famous cities in America and the world, New York City property presents unique investment opportunities. There is one problem, however. Real estate in New York is expensive. In fact, a report from Savills Research shows New York City as the most expensive city in the world to rent, and one of the most expensive residential real estate markets.
One might look at this and believe the high rates leave little opportunity for investment. That is not the case. There are ways to invest in New York City real estate even if you don’t live there. Here are a few of the best ways to do so.
A turnkey property allows investors to buy a property, turn around, and rent it immediately. This may sound impossible to find, but there are companies that specialize in selling these properties. This presents a unique opportunity for those who want to invest in real estate in New York City but don’t live there.
A property management company or a local employee may eat into profit, though it can go a long way to help manage your investments.
Much like investing in a turnkey property, a real estate investment trust (REIT) allows local and global investors to invest in New York City real estate. As of late 2014, there were three REITs that focused specifically on New York real estate. A REIT, in many cases, allows investors to invest in commercial or residential property as well as mortgage loans. What’s unique about New York City REITs is their singular focus on commercial or retail buildings in prestigious properties like Grand Central Terminal or Union Square.
A REIT, generally speaking, allows investors access to a grouping of such properties that trade like a stock. By their nature, this provides dividend income (as they’re required to distribute 90% of their taxable income annually through dividends) as well as diversification opportunities. They’re also prone to risk in rising interest rate climates.