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Be prepared: rental competition is fierce out there

Come prepared to do battle for Phoenix apartments.Boost your chances of landing the perfect rental by being well prepared; maybe more so than you think you need.  The significantly higher percentage of foreclosures in the Phoenix area over the rest of the Country, has turned thousands of Arizona homeowners into renters.  At the same time, overwhelming market research has shown that the majority of Americans simply prefer to rent rather than buy a home in these current economic market conditions. This means that competition for prime rental properties has become fierce to say the least.  So how can you improve your chances of signing on the exact lease you’ve wanted? Be prepared for battle!

If you’re facing the prospect of hunting for your next place in the next couple of years, you will be up against more renters than quite awhile.  Qualifying to rent an apartment in a large complex certainly has its caveats, but depending on your situation, you may want to consider renting a condo, townhouse or home from a smaller company or private owner.

The easiest way to qualify for a new rental is to simply have an 800 credit score, a fat bank account, and solid income; that is all of us right?  Now that we’ve stepped out of the world of unicorns and rainbows, you’re likely lacking in one or a few of those strong qualifying factors.  So how can “being prepared” help change any of those things?

With the state of the economy right now, and the recent changes by the credit bureaus score calculations, the average American’s FICO score has taken a hit.  The best way to compensate for a bad or limited score is to frankly have a lot of cash to throw down on a deposit to ease the landlords mind that you’re less of a risk.  If you know you have some ugly items on your credit such as a foreclosure, short sale or repossession, you will want to attach a preemptive letter of explanation with your initial rental application.  Explaining the circumstances surrounding your credit blemish up front will improve your chances of them not immediately tossing your application in the trash.

Start saving your paystubs right now.  Landlords want to know that you can pay your rent. Being able to prove that you have a solid job history and proof of your income is a huge benefit. If you want to take it a step further, especially if you don’t have the most stable job history, ask your current employer for a letter of recommendation.  Having a written demonstration that your employer likes you and can assure that you’re most likely keeping your job for the near future, is always a great way to win points with a prospective landlord.

Larger apartment complexes like the Mark Taylor’s, or Camden Apartments have much more rigid qualification standards. Typically you’ll need a strong credit score and a sizeable deposit.  The smaller complexes and private owners are usually more willing to bend the rules a little bit if they like you.  Consider your housing choices and be realistic about how you’ll look on your application paperwork before you start your search.  Being prepared to move quickly on the perfect place will place you above the rest.

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Amalia Otet
Amalia Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for RENTCafé. She loves all things real estate and strives to live beautifully, one green step at a time.

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