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Documents You Need to Rent an Apartment

Here Is the Ultimate Document Checklist to Sign an Apartment Lease


Finding a good apartment is like finding a life partner — it can be really freakin' hard. But when you do find one that checks all your boxes (and hopefully has some killer natural light), you have to act fast before someone else swoops in and steals it. And one crucial thing you need to do to ensure that doesn't happen is to be completely prepared with all the proper paperwork.

Applying for an apartment rental is a lot like filling out a job application. There are several additional documentation requirements you'll need to provide if you want a fighting chance of landing your new place. Some landlords will ask for it all (and maybe more), while others will just ask for the basics. Either way, you never know what to expect, so it's better to be over prepared. Make sure you have everything in the list ahead when apartment hunting, so you can offer it up at a moment's notice (and make sure to bring a few extra copies just in case).

  • Rental application
  • Three recent pay stubs
  • Letter of employment
  • Credit report
  • Most recent income tax return
  • Copy of your license, passport, or other photo identification
  • Most recent bank statement
  • Rental history
  • Personal and previous landlord references with contact information
  • Vehicle registration and proof of insurance
  • Background check
  • Proof of renter's insurance

Also, don't forget your checkbook! Some landlords require first and last month's rent plus a security deposit upon signing the lease, so be prepared to cover that cost.

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