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Applying for an apartment for rent can be an intimidating process, especially if you are doing it for the first time. There’s a lot of personal information that is required, a credit check, and in some cases, you need to move quickly so that the apartment isn’t rented to someone else.

At Hip Realty, we work with a variety of apartment complexes in the Lincoln, Nebraska area, and we have years of experience helping people through the process. To make sure that you get your dream apartment, we’ll go over what items you’ll need and provide some advice on what you should know and do before you rent the apartment.

Items You’ll Need to Apply For an Apartment For Rent

It may feel like you’re giving your life away when you apply for an apartment, but it’s for a good reason. Property management services need to be thorough in order to be confident that their tenants will pay rent on time and won’t trash the property while living there. Properly screening tenants is a way of protecting their investment.

  • Proof of Identity: You will need to prove you are who you say you are. Typically you will need two forms of identification, which can include your driver’s license, passport, social security card, birth certificate, or permanent resident card.
  • Proof of Income: The apartment wants to know that you have a regular income in order to make rent each month. Most complexes require at least three months worth of pay stubs or bank statements to confirm your salary. If you don’t have a printer available, ask whether or not they will accept PDFs of the documents or if you’ll need to print physical copies.
  • Current Tax Return: Your tax return is another way of proving your income. While not always required, they may be if you have multiple jobs or income that is from various sources.
  • Job Information: The apartment may also ask for your employer’s information. The apartment can contact your employer’s HR department to verify your income, position, and length of employment.
  • Rental History: One way of showing the apartment that you are a responsible renter and capable of making payments on time is through previous landlords. They may contact past apartment complexes to verify that you did pay rent on time and each month. If you haven’t rented before, they may ask for additional income verification.
  • Vehicle information: If you will be parking a vehicle at the complex, you’ll need to provide the make and model of the vehicle and your driver’s license number.

Background Check

The apartment will also conduct a background check in order to ensure that you are dependable and won’t cause any disruptions to the community. A criminal record may interfere with being approved for the apartment, depending on the severity. If you do have a history of criminal actions, you may want to consider offering an explanation before beginning the application process.

Credit Check

A credit check will provide information about how well you manage your money. The report will provide information about whether you make payments on time, if you have a credit history in the first place, and your debt to income ratio. All of this information can provide a picture of how responsible you are and how capable you are of making monthly rent payments. A bad credit history, depending on the apartment, can affect whether or not you are approved. You may want to consider if the apartment requires a certain credit score, and if they do, you can try to increase the score over the next couple of months.

Other Applicants or Occupants

If you are applying for the apartment for rent with a roommate or significant other, they will also need to include some information — how much and what type of information will depend on the apartment. If you have children you will also need to list them as additional occupants. If you have pets, include how many and what breed they are. Some apartments have a list of breeds that they do not accept, or possibly a weight limit.

What You Should Know and Do When Applying For an Apartment For Rent

You Rent Can Increase

When you initially sign the lease, you are guaranteed to pay that amount for the duration of the lease; however, it’s not uncommon for rent to increase when your lease is up. If you haven’t rented before, you may already be aware of this, but for first-time renters, it may come as a surprise. If the rent amount is already stretching your budget, you may want to plan ahead for a rent increase or consider applying elsewhere.

Get Renters’ Insurance

Many apartments require their residents to purchase renters’ insurance. In the event that your belongings are stolen or a natural disaster strikes and everything is lost, the landlord’s insurance won’t cover the items in your apartment. Even though monthly premiums are fairly inexpensive, it’s another thing that you need to include in your budget.

Evaluate the Property and Neighborhood

If you have kids or are concerned about safety and how loud or quiet the area is, take some time to visit the apartment on a Friday or Saturday night instead of in the middle of the day during the week. The apartment and neighborhood are more likely to be louder at night when all of the residents are home. If you don’t feel comfortable or safe or if neighbors are extremely loud, it’s probably not going to get any better after you move in.

Read the Lease

Many property managers will go over the most important parts of a lease contract, but that’s exactly what your lease is — a contract. Most lease contracts all cover relatively the same things (the rent amount and date, late fees, early termination clause, security deposit policy, rules on subletting, pets, a smoking policy, etc.), but take some time to read through the fine print. If there’s anything you have questions about, it’s better to clarify before you sign.

If you’re looking for an apartment for rent in the Lincoln, Nebraska area, the team at Hip Realty wants to help! Whether you’ve been through the process before or not, finding an apartment can be frustrating, especially if you’re looking for particular amenities. Hip Realty works closely with several apartments in Lincoln, making it easy to see the rent for various apartments, the amenities that are offered, and more. We partner with Eagle’s Landing, Park Ridge, Magic Hill, and many more apartments that are close to the UNL. We can assure you that we make the process of finding an apartment easy and fun. Get in touch with us today to find your next apartment.