What can disqualify you from renting an apartment?

Learn the ins and outs of what you should know before renting your next home.

Kevin Crain

By Kevin Crain

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In the intricate process of apartment hunting, aspiring tenants often find themselves navigating a maze of qualifications and prerequisites set by landlords and property management companies. It can feel like a lot of work. However, understanding what can disqualify you from renting an apartment is crucial. It’s an essential thing to know if you’re someone looking to secure your next home. 

While some companies like Blueground make renting simple thanks to flexible lease terms and fully furnished apartments, many landlords hinder rather than help. That’s why we created this comprehensive guide. Here, we dive into the intricacies of the apartment application process, shedding light on potential pitfalls and making sure you’re prepared to ace the rental game.

Financial stability matters

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Employment history & income

One of the primary considerations for landlords is the financial stability of a prospective tenant. A steady employment history and a consistent income are key indicators of reliability. Applicants with frequent job changes or insufficient income may find themselves at a disadvantage. That’s because landlords typically look for tenants whose monthly income is at least three times the rental amount, ensuring they have the financial capacity to pay rent each month.

Credit score

A stellar credit score is a golden ticket in the rental world. Landlords scrutinize credit reports to assess an applicant’s level of financial responsibility. A poor credit history, laden with missed payments or outstanding debts, can be a red flag for landlords. On the flip side, maintaining a good credit score by promptly paying bills and managing finances responsibly enhances your chances of securing that dream apartment.

Rental history: A window to your past

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Eviction record

Landlords prioritize tenants with a clean rental history. An eviction record can be a deal-breaker, signaling potential issues in following lease agreements. Unfortunately, applicants with a history of evictions may find it challenging to convince landlords of their reliability. Does this sound like your situation? If so, here’s one thing to keep in mind: transparent communication is key. Telling the truth about past issues and taking proactive steps to address them can sometimes offset a landlord’s concerns.

Rental references

Providing strong rental references can significantly boost your application. Seriously, your reputation matters. Positive endorsements from previous landlords underscore your reliability and adherence to lease terms. On the other hand, vague or negative references may cast doubt on your suitability as a tenant. So make sure that your references are readily available and can vouch for your responsible tenancy.

Criminal background checks: Navigating the legal landscape

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Understanding the process

Criminal background checks are a standard component of the tenant screening process. While a criminal record doesn’t automatically disqualify you, certain offenses may raise concerns. Understanding the legal nuances and being transparent about past convictions is key. Some landlords are open to considering rehabilitation efforts, while others may have stricter policies regarding what can disqualify you from renting an apartment.

Communicate transparently

If you have a criminal record, honesty is the best policy. Providing a clear and truthful account of past legal issues allows landlords to make informed decisions. It’s essential to address any concerns they may have and highlight steps taken toward personal growth and rehabilitation. Open communication can demonstrate responsibility and may positively impact the landlord’s perception of you.

Pet policies: Furry friends & rental agreements

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Know the rules

For pet owners, it’s important to understand common pet policies. Many landlords have specific rules about moving to a new place with your pets, ranging from size restrictions to breed limitations. Failure to adhere to these policies can lead to application rejection. In addition to these six key apartment questions we’ve discussed before, always find out about pet policies upfront and follow the property’s rules. This will help you avoid complications during the application process.

Additional deposits & pet interviews

Some landlords may require additional pet deposits or even conduct pet interviews to assess the compatibility of your furry friend with the property. This isn’t completely out of the ordinary. Being aware of and prepared for these requirements leads to a smoother application process for pet owners.

Ready to rent?

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Navigating the rental landscape requires a strategic approach and meticulous attention to detail. Understanding what can disqualify you from renting an apartment is the first step toward landing your perfect apartment. From financial stability to rental history and beyond, each aspect plays a crucial role in shaping the landlord’s decision. By being proactive, transparent, and well-prepared, you can improve your chances of standing out in a competitive rental market.

Want to make your move hassle-free? With furnished apartments around the world, Blueground takes the work out of finding and booking a home in major cities.

Kevin Crain

Kevin Crain

Kevin Crain is a writer from Dallas, Texas. He’s dedicated to helping every Blueground guest live like a local and make their apartment feel like home. His favorite topics include active experiences, bucket list essentials, and hidden gems in cities around the world.