How to Get the Apartment Before the Rest

Tips for jumping ahead of the competition

Paul Northcutt and his family rent 475 rental properties in San Diego.  But he says he is surprised with how little people prepare when they are looking for a place to live.

"Lots of times potential renters aren't prepared," said Northcutt with Northcutt Properties.  He advised the longer you take to fill out the paperwork, the more likely someone else will get the home, condo or property you are looking for.

Northcutt said you should treat looking for an apartment like you would a job.  Plan ahead and be ready to fill out the application.  

He has tips for people looking for a rental property.  Besides being qualified, having strong credit, adequate income and good references, he said there are things you can do to move ahead of the other applicants.

  1. Be on-time when looking at the property. It makes a good impression on the landlord or manager.
  2. Be personable and let the owner know if you are interested.
  3. Fill out the application fully, including pay stubs or bank account information.
  4. Be flexible when you can start your tenancy. Landlords may give preference to people who can move in sooner.
  5. Consider having a written reference from a previous landlord.

The more you can do to impress the landlord or property manager, the more likely they will remember you when it comes to picking a tenant.

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