There are four things that apartments are evaluating on any rental application:
1) Employment and Income
2) Credit History
3) Rental History
4) Criminal Background
So that I can give you a thorough explanation, I’m going to take each of these in a separate blog post. This is the third installment in this series. This post is about the process Austin apartments use to check your rental history and what they consider important. The other topics are linked above.
If you are in the situation where you have to chose which bills to pay, always chose your rent first. To a perspective landlord, rental history is the most important part of the qualifying process. It tells the apartment complex in no uncertain terms how you have treated your previous homes and landlords, and how you will likely treat their property. Evictions and difficult and time consuming, no landlord wants to rent to someone they will likely have to evict.
During the rental history check, apartments are looking for:
1) If you owe money to a previous rental
2) If you had contractual problems at a previous rental, such as paying your rent late
3) If you have a history of broken community rules
If your rental history is less than stellar, an apartment locator can be a very valuable asset in your apartment search. Each case is different, but there are only a few Austin apartments that will work with negative rental history, and a quality apartment finder will know who those are. A lenient manager may accept an additional deposit, but that is rare and will require a negotiation.
Since many apartment managers will weigh your most recent rental history heavier, if you do have a negative rental history and your are accepted, this is your opportunity to fix your rental reputation. One positive rental will make it much easier for your rent in the future. The good news, if you are accepted, is that your lease will likely be the same as your neighbors. Regardless of the conditions under which you were accepted, the rules should be the same for all tenants.