How To Sell Yourself As A Great Tenant

Standing out from the crowd can be daunting in a competitive rental market. After all, property managers sift through countless applications from people vying for the same space. There are often rigorous application processes. Also, many have valid concerns about ethics and fear discrimination when trying to rent. So what’s the best way to stay safe while on the hunt? How do you sell yourself as a great tenant? Can you gain an edge, and tip the scales in your favor?

The answer lies in understanding what building owners want and positioning yourself accordingly. This guide will walk you through the steps to transform your approach. Consequently, you can be more than just another applicant. You can be the standout candidate; landlords cannot wait to have you as a tenant.

This article will be your roadmap to success for your next rental application. Keep reading to present yourself as the renter everyone desires!

Understand the Landlord’s Perspective

Landlords seek tenants who protect their investments and maintain a peaceful living environment. Crucial factors they consider include financial stability, cleanliness, and adherence to the lease agreement. It’s wise to consider the questions landlords might ask when screening tenants so that you can prepare your answers wisely.

Financial steadiness is often paramount because it indicates an ability to pay rent on time. Cleanliness and respect for the property minimize wear and tear and potential repair costs. Lastly, adherence to the lease agreement signifies your willingness to respect the rules and regulations.

Reliability is another vital trait that landlords value. A reliable tenant is predictable and consistent in their actions. For instance, they pay their rent on time, report maintenance issues, and fulfill all their commitments. Someone who meets these criteria reduces the potential for misunderstandings and conflicts.

Responsibility and respectfulness are equally essential. A responsible tenant accepts their duty to care for the property and act in accordance with the lease. They also remain mindful of their neighbors and avoid causing unnecessary disturbances.

Create a Positive First Impression

This principle applies to landlords and potential tenants. But you can increase your chances of making a compelling first impression by following these tips:

  • Be Punctual: Arriving on time for the viewing shows respect for time and indicates your reliability.
  • Dress Appropriately: You do not need formal attire, but looking neat and presentable can have an impact.
  • Be Polite and Respectful: Remember to display your good manners and character to the person who shows you a rental unit.
  • Show Genuine Interest: Ask insightful questions about the property and the local area. This action shows that you are serious about wanting to live there.
  • Be Positive: Maintain a good attitude throughout the viewing to help the owner associate you with positive feelings.

Showcase Your Financial Stability

Finances always play a pivotal role in the rental application process. Landlords typically look for two key indicators of financial stability: a stable income and good credit. After all, these are qualities that are needed for an individual to even become a landlord in the first place. 

Generally, you should make at least three times the monthly rent to show you have sufficient resources. On the other hand, good credit displays a history of responsible financial behavior.

Pay stubs, bank statements, or tax returns are particularly helpful. Furthermore, consider writing a cover letter to attach to your application. This document allows you to highlight your savings, employment history, and timely bill payments. This transparency about your situation can go a long way in building trust.

Unfortunately, being a student or self-employed might pose additional challenges. If you attend school, consider providing evidence of financial aid, scholarships, or a part-time job. A parent or guardian could also co-sign the lease, providing additional assurance to the landlord.

Self-employed individuals can provide tax returns from the last couple of years, bank statements, or client referrals. You may alleviate many concerns upfront by being proactive and providing this information.

Provide Strong References

Strong references from past landlords and employers can significantly bolster your rental application. Providing third-party validation of your reliability and character makes a substantial difference.

Landlord references can affirm your history of timely rent payments and good neighborly behavior. Meanwhile, employer references can attest to your stable income and responsibility. Together, they provide a comprehensive picture of you as an excellent tenant.

Here are some tips for collecting and presenting these references:

  • Request References in Advance: Do not wait until the last minute to ask for references. Give them ample time to compose thoughtful responses.
  • Choose Your References Wisely: Pick individuals who can vouch for your character, reliability, and financial stability. Prioritize professional references over personal ones where possible.
  • Include a Variety of References: Provide references from past landlords and employers. A diverse range of voices can help paint a fuller picture of you as a potential tenant.
  • Provide Written References: In some cases, your references might be willing to provide a written statement.
  • Be Appreciative: Remember to thank your references for their time and support. Their positive endorsement can make a crucial difference in securing your desired rental property.

Communicate Effectively and Respectfully

Effective and respectful communication plays a crucial role in establishing a positive relationship. Good communication skills can convey your reliability, build trust, and foster mutual understanding. These elements are essential from the first interaction through the tenancy.

Proactive communication about any issues, concerns, or changes in circumstance shows that you are responsible. Furthermore, timely responses to communications show that you respect their time.

There are several strategies for effective communication in different contexts:

  • In person, be respectful, attentive, and responsive.
  • Over the phone, speak clearly, remain patient, and use professional language.
  • In writing, aim for clarity, conciseness, and correctness.

Start with a polite greeting, state your purpose, keep the message brief, and check for errors before sending. Moreover, it is essential to maintain a positive and respectful tone, especially when discussing problems.

Demonstrate Responsibility and Respect for Property

One of the primary concerns of any landlord is the well-being of their property. They have concerns over everything from general wear and tear, to how climate change might impact their property. Consequently, demonstrating your responsibility and respect can significantly enhance your appeal.

You can discuss your habits around cleanliness and maintenance during your application or interview. Highlight your routine cleaning habits and your commitment to reporting issues promptly. Additionally, be sure to mention any history of doing minor repairs yourself or maintaining a previous property.

Discussing your merits extends beyond just maintenance and cleanliness. Communicate how you interact with your neighbors and the wider community. A great tenant respects those around them and understands the importance of a peaceful environment. Accordingly, do not hesitate to share examples where you have fostered good relationships with neighbors.

Remember, your actions can speak even louder than words. Keeping the property in excellent condition, treating neighbors with respect, and abiding by all the rules is crucial. Over time, these actions will affirm your status as a great renter.

Are You Still Having Problems? Get Legal Help Today!

Becoming someone every landlord desires involves more than just meeting the basic requirements. You must showcase your candidacy to earn a coveted spot. After reading this, we hope that you have a good idea of how to sell your self as a great tenant.

However, it is also important to remember your rights as a tenant. Despite your best efforts, if you face unfair treatment or discrimination, take action immediately. Federal, state, and local laws protect you from housing challenges due to these protected characteristics:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Gender Identity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Disability
  • Family Status

Do not hesitate to seek legal help. Contact us online for a referral to an attorney that specializes in tenant law. We also have representatives available 24/7 at (866) 345-6784!

Return to the Blog

How It All Works

Call us or answer the questions on this site. Your category, location, and additional information will help us connect you to a legal professional and we’ll send you the results instantly.

Which Areas of Law?

We have attorneys in over 20 legal categories to choose from.

How Much Does This Cost?

We don’t charge you to be connected. Some legal categories require upfront fees while others do not. The legal professional will determine this with you before you commit to anything.