If you’ve recently been incarcerated, have a history of not paying your phone bill or are the owner of a number of domestic animals, you already know the odds are already against you in trying to find an apartment to rent.
But every day in countless ways prospective tenants have their applications red-flagged by property managers with no reason offered.
However a recent survey of property managers carried out by dedicated rental property site Rent may shed some light on the matter, revealing the top reasons why property managers may choose to pick one tenancy application over another.
According to Rent the survey showed that the number one reason agents decline a tenant application is because of a history of missed rental payments.
Rent says more than 70% of property managers surveyed say an applicant who has a record of paying their rent late would be the first struck off the shortlist.
“If a database listing or landlord reference showed an applicant often had late or missed rent payments, the majority of PMs would put the application aside and consider another applicant with a proven ability to pay the rent,” Rent says.
The survey revealed that the next most common reason for a tenancy application getting stopped in its tracks is when the applicant has a negative rental history.
Nearly 60% of property managers say that no owner wants their property tenanted by someone who has a high risk for causing damage, therefore if there was evidence that an applicant left a property in a bad condition or caused property damaged beyond fair wear and tear, their application would likely be rejected.
While there’s not a huge amount that prospective tenants can do to change their circumstances, the third most common reason compelling property managers to reject an application was when the applicant had an inadequate or unverified income.
“Proof of income could come in the form of payslips, a letter from an employee or excerpts from bank statements. If a tenant can’t show proof that they’ll be able to pay the rent, their application could be rejected,” the rental property site says.
Lying on your application is also a big no-no with 39% of survey respondents indicating that they would not consider a tenant as suitable for a particular property on their books if evidence showed the applicant has been less than economical with the truth.
Likewise, most rental applications include a section where an applicant needs to list a few references: a past landlord, an employer or an unbiased person who can speak to how responsible and trustworthy they are.
Rent says 31% of property managers replied that if they discovered an applicant was consistently late paying rent or turned their apartment into a meth lab, they would refuse their application.
Equally, 14% of property managers admitted that unexplained gaps in a prospective tenant’s rental history could also trigger a rejection.
There were many reasons for this, Rent says.
“For one, many agents would suspect that the person vacated before their lease was up. Circumstances depending, the absence of information can be a big red flag.”
While this doesn’t always mean instant rejection, tenants can work around these periods by explaining legitimate reasons for the gap such as moving in with family or taking time to travel.
The remaining common reasons for rejecting a tenancy application include insufficient information provided on the application form and would-be tenants who listed ownership of a pet but were applying for non-pet-friendly residences.