How Does the Rent Verification Process Work?

by: Jo Montgomery

When you start your search for that perfect apartment to rent, you check out everything. From the smallest details inside the apartment, to the grounds and the amenities that make it a community. But did you know that the owner is checking you out as well? Sound backwards to you? Well, it’s not. They’re simply making sure that you’re a good fit for the community – you’ll respect the other residents, pay your rent on time and take good care of the apartment and the grounds. And all owners do it. It’s good for you too, because it assures that others in your community are just as invested as you are in creating a comfortable place you will be proud to call home.

What you’re probably wondering is exactly how apartments check your rental history, and verify your employment and income. It’s really no mystery, here’s how it’s done:   

How do apartments check rental history?

When an owner or management company does a credit check on you, they will also receive information on your rental history. A sound rental history lets them know that you will be a good tenant who pays your rent on time.

Can you get an apartment with no rental history?

The answer is yes! You can get an apartment with no rental history. Everyone has to have their first rental experience somewhere.  If it makes you feel any better, bad rental history is worse than no rental history.


How do apartments verify income and employment?

Both owners and management companies will routinely request proof of employment. Being asked to provide 3 to 6 months of current pay stubs, and/or bank statements, is typical. If you’re a freelancer, you may need a few years of IRS-approved tax returns and bank statements. And if you’re a student, your loan disbursement schedule will usually do the trick. And, on occasion, outside companies are employed who run employment checks and verify income.

The most important thing is, to be honest. And not to get attached to a place you can’t afford right now. Some communities even have an income requirement. But a good rule of thumb is to look for an apartment whose monthly rent is about 30% of your income. The reasoning behind this is that when you cap your monthly rent payment at 30% of your monthly income, you’ll have money left over to cover your other living expenses, not to mention working toward your personal financial goals.

How do apartments do credit checks?

When you fill out a rental application, the owner will most likely run a credit check to get a look at your financial health. They do this because your credit report and your credit score tell them how reliable you will be when paying your bills each month.  A few of the things the credit report will tell an owner is your credit score, rental history, whether you pay your bills on time, and whether you have any debt.

What is your credit score?

It’s a number between 300 and 850 and is a picture of your financial history with credit. What makes up your number are things like your debt amounts, the length of your credit history, the types of credit you have, and the amount of new credit you have. A perfect credit score is 850. But don’t let that high bar scare you. The average score tends to be between 620 and 679. If your score is below 620, you may be considered a higher risk.  

Where can I get my credit report?

If you want to get your own copy of your credit report, it’s easy to do. Any of the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, will provide it for free once every 12 months. If you want it more often than that, there’s a small fee. But is the only one authorized by Federal law to provide you with a free annual score. 
Since you now know how the rent verification process actually works, you can have all the necessary information prepared ahead of time. That speeds up your apartment application and approval process. Armed with this information, you won’t get caught off guard when it comes time to close the deal on that primo apartment. You’re in the know! Find your next apartment on today.