Rentals are flying off the shelves.
San Antonio has been experiencing a hot rental market since last year and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up anytime soon. While the sales of homes have picked up, there are still plenty of renters out there and the inventory of property rental listings goes quickly. Since landlords know they can fill their rentals rather quickly, the application process has tightened and property managers are being more restrictive with their criteria for approval. In order to get the rental you want, you need to prepare yourself, be ready to act fast, and know the common issues property managers are looking for in applications.
Rules of the Rental Road
Prepare now. Gather all the info you’re going to need. Most applications will require your current and previous address, with contact info for your landlord or property manager. Fax numbers and email addresses make the process go much smoother. Same thing goes for employers. When your rental application is run, the property manager will check your rental history and verify your employment. If they have to track down these people, the application process gets slower. Any bottlenecks could cause you to lose the property. Don’t let something so simple cause problems. Also get copies of your drivers license ready (for everyone over the age of 18 that will be living there). Make a couple of copies in case you apply for more than one rental property. If you’re self employed, be prepared with copies of bank statements and tax returns. These will speed up the process greatly.
Money orders or cashier’s checks. Your application fees should be in certified funds. Cash is accepted by some property managers. Property managers can’t accept your personal check with a rental application because they will have to wait for the check to clear before processing the app. Again, anything that slows the process will hurt your chances.
First come, first serve. It’s a fast moving rental market and some properties can wind up with multiple applications. Most property managers run by the rule of “first come, first serve,” but not all do. Be sure your agent hand delivers the application to the office and checks to see if the property is still available. You may have to apply for more than one rental property, so be sure your agent is on top of it. If they’re not, find someone else.
Honesty is the best policy. If you have credit issues or a criminal record, tell the property manager up front. Write up a brief explanation and provide it with your application. Sometimes a simple explanation can help you overcome the obstacles. It’s not the job of the property manager to ask, so tell them upfront and let them decide. The more data you give us, the better we can process your rental application.
Pets. We’ve been seeing a lot of this as an issue. It’s up to the landlord to decide on pet policy, but almost no property manager or landlord will accept what are known as aggressive breeds. While your pit bull or rottweiler may be the sweetest dog on the planet, this is a blanket policy for most. The reason isn’t because they don’t like these dogs, the true reason comes down to insurance. While you maintain renter’s insurance, the homeowner/landlord needs to maintain their own insurance policy and insurers are not willing to take the risk associated with these dogs. If you have one, know in advance you may not find a rental very quickly. Here’s a list of points for Private Dog Training Vs. Group Classes and also on the most common aggressive breed dogs: Pit Bull, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, Akita, Chow-Chow, Presa Canario, Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Russian Shepherds, German Shepherds, Great Danes, St. Bernards, Boxers, and Dalmations – mixes apply too.
Additional Documents. Most property managers will have you fill out and sign some additional forms, typically known as “rental criteria” forms. These forms explain to you what you can expect during the application process and what the property managers are looking for. They also detail why your rental application may be denied. These are important forms, in our office, we will not process an application without them.
Complete package. Every property manager has their own set of rules, but we will not process a rental application until we have the complete package. If anything is missing or we still need more information, the rental is still considered on the market and we will continue accepting applications on the “first come, first serve” basis. Do yourself a favor and follow the tips and advice above and you’ll better prepared to find the rental you want in a hot rental market.
image courtesy of blackTanso