Application Forms and Documents

The application

Once you decide on an apartment, submit an application ASAP. In full-service buildings you'll be able to apply right there; for others, you can apply at your agent's office. An application consists of:

  • An application form
  • Supporting documents
  • Application fees/deposits

The application form

Every landlord has their own unique form, but they all tend to ask about income, employment history, education, social security info, pets, etc. Your supporting documents should back-up everything you claim in the form.

Why is the application process so intense?

If a renter doesn't pay his or her rent on time or if a renter becomes a nuisance to the neighbors, the landlord's business can be adversely and significantly affected. The application process, which includes background checks and financial checks, helps a landlord minimize risk. And if there are multiple applications, the landlord can choose the most-qualified, least-risky applicant.

  • Documents you'll need when applying

  • Photo ID (drivers license or passport)
  • Employer letter on letterhead stating job title, length of employment, salary and expected bonus. *
  • Copies of last two pay-stubs
  • Copies of last three bank statements
  • Copies of last two tax returns
  • Copies of last two W2s
  • Asset Documents Official docs with the value of assets, stocks, real estate, etc
  • Contact information Names, phone numbers, addresses and emails) of all past landlords, your employer, and your guarantor.
  • Letters from past landlords On letterhead, saying you're a great tenant, pays on time, etc...
  • Four letters of reference Two professional (bosses, professors) and two personal (family, friends) stating you're a trustworthy person.
  • *If you haven't started the job, include start-date. If you're self-employed, you'll need a document from a certified public accountant (CPA) stating your income from last year.
FIG 4.1 Crazy, right?