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How to Rent an Apartment in One Month: 7 Tips for a Quick Move-In

Moving into a new apartment can be exciting and dreadful at the same time, which is why most of us want to get it over with quickly and just skip to the part where we are enjoying the views off our new couch. But, for those of us who are in a hurry and need to move in asap, how can we make sure we get to the signing of the lease in a month — sometimes even less — since starting apartment hunting? Well, there are a few tips and tricks to make this process as smooth as possible while ensuring that the application approval procedure is completed seamlessly.

We gathered some pointers you’ll find very useful if you’re a first-time renter and you don’t really know where to start or what to expect while on the lookout for a new rental apartment. And, if you’re forced to make a quick move to a new place due to unexpected circumstances, keep reading.

It goes without saying that the digital tools available today and some efficient planning and preparing can help you rent the place of your dreams in no time. So, without further ado, here are some tips on how to rent an apartment in one month or less:

1. Plan ahead — and do it thoroughly

Before you actually start looking for a new apartment for rent, make sure you know all the details related to your move: set a budget, think of your desired neighborhood and make a list of all the amenities you’d like to have access to.

Also, it would be useful to:

  • make a list of all the documents that you will need (also check tip no. 4);
  • collect references from previous owners;
  • have a cosigner ready in case you don’t meet income requirements, you have a low credit score or you don’t have the right rental history;

2. Get your online search on, but also keep an eye on offline listings

Online search is the simplest and easiest way to shortlist a few places that fit your preferences and budget. Since you already have a checklist, it should be easy to filter the options that match your profile. There are many platforms aimed at helping people find the perfect rental.

Also, for online apartment hunting, instead of sending online forms to check availability for a property, make a phone call and get the information faster.

Take virtual tours, read reviews where available and narrow down you search. While experts don’t recommend renting an apartment without setting foot in it, you can surely postpone this step until you finally decide on which home deserves an actual trip before securing the lease.

However, driving or walking around the neighborhood you are planning to move to is definitely a good idea at this stage in the process of renting. This will help you feel the vibe of the area but also see if there are any “for rent” signs put up for a place that might be just what you’re looking for. Mark down the phone numbers listed on those signs and start calling.

3. Word of mouth is underrated, so let all your friends know you’re apartment hunting

To shorten the process of finding the apartment you want, why not let your friends, family and even coworkers know you are looking for a new place to call home? This way, you’ll increase your chances of finding something fast or maybe even schedule a private tour with the landlord.

Another tip is to work your social media magic and post about your search. Depending on your reach, this will activate a broader network of people and chances are you’ll jump to signing a lease faster than you imagined.

4. Prepare your documents in advance

This means making sure everything is accurate and valid. Check your driver’s license or passport, social security card, financial documents (such as proof of income, bank account information, tax returns), proof of employment, references from former landlords or property managers and your pet’s documents, if needed. Be sure to make some copies of the documents you’ll need to attach to the application.

If you will have a cosigner, make sure their background is clear and they have all their documents ready as well. Usually, the most important ones are the proof of income and the credit report.

5. Stay flexible

One way of standing out among other would-be renters is by agreeing to some atypical lease terms that cater to the landlord and shorten your search process. For example, you can accept a longer lease. This could be two or three years, if you are planning to stay that long, or 13 to 14 months. The latter might work better for the landlord if a one-year lease is set to expire mid-winter, when the rental season is at its lowest.

6. Hire a real estate broker

While this is a rather pricey option, it can definitely save you some time. An agent can quickly line up some showings for you, depending on your preferences, and help with gathering and reviewing your documents.

The agent’s fee varies, but it’s usually the equivalent of a month’s rent. The good news is that there are states (such as Florida) where the landlord covers the agent’s fee.

7. Apply online

Obviously, submitting rental applications online shortens the process versus sending it via snail mail, so make sure you go for the first option, if possible.

While the duration of the apartment hunting process is hard to guess, the approval procedure for a rental application doesn’t usually last longer than a few days, depending on how fast the credit reporting company completes the background check. Having all your documents and information accurate and up-to-date can help speed things up.

Check out more tips and tricks for renters on our blog, where you can learn everything about renting easy and resting easy — from finding the perfect place to making it your own with beautiful and affordable interior design ideas, renting with petsliving with roommates and much more.

Alexandra Both
Alexandra Both
Alexandra Both is a senior creative writer with RentCafe. She has more than six years of real estate writing experience as a senior editor with Commercial Property Executive and Multi-Housing News. She is a seasoned journalist, who has previously worked in print, online and broadcast media. Alexandra has a B.A. in Journalism and an M.A. in Community Development.

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