2020 Apartment Application Process – What to Expect?

Getting your application approved today at an apartment community seems more complicated today than at any other time.

Apartment management companies are imposing rules and requiring more documentation than ever before. Running a full background and credit check can be a quick process. And many properties can approve/decline a renter in mere minutes. Other times, it may take days to find out.

According to Rentkidz, here are the criteria that many large apartments in the Woodlands, TX are requiring before approval or denial. Renting a private home or duplex might require much less red tape. When you’re dealing with an owner or landlord, they are willing to overlook specific criteria.

What is An Apartment Application

According to, an apartment application is a document the potential renter must fill out in its entirety that is used to make a judgment on a particular renter. All of the information provided by the applicant will be assessed to determine whether or not he/she will be approved or denied.

The renter will be asked for the following criteria:

  • Personal Information

The landlord will need first and last name, plus your phone number and a current address. They may reach you by email or text message as well. The apartment manager will want to check your previous rental history.

  • Social Security Number

The social security number will be required when you fill out the documentation. The landlord will want to know who you are.

If you have been convicted of a crime, this can severely impact the process. If you know that certain charges will appear, it is best to bring this up before any checks are performed. Many apartment management companies have strict rules that will result in immediate rejection. And you won’t get your application fee refunded.

  • Car Information

If you are bringing a vehicle with you, they will ask for the make and model. Also, be sure and write down your license plate information too. Car insurance may also be requested. The landlord doesn’t want any cars not belonging to guests parked in the community for an extended period.

How Much Money Do You Make

Renters Must Make the required income. The majority of larger apartment communities now require renters to make at least 3.5 times the monthly rent. Applications that are submitted that do not meet the requirements will be denied.

Acceptable proof of income will usually include a tax return, pay stubs, or 6 months of bank statements showing deposits for those who are self-employed.

If you just received a job offer and didn’t have a valid proof of income, a letter from your employer should be sufficient.

Emergency Contact Information

If for some reason, there is a medical emergency, the landlord will want to be able to contact your closest relative.


If you don’t have a rental history or you don’t quite meet the income standards, you will need a co-signer. This might be a parent or a close acquaintance.

Previous References

You might need to provide a reference so the landlord can make sure you paid your rent on time and how you acted as a tenant. A professional text is sometimes also requested. This is used to confirm employment.

The apartment management companies or landlords will most likely then run your credit. Contrary to popular belief, they usually don’t use the typical credit bureaus to search. They have their own specialized credit company they work with.

Credit scores might impact your application. Lower scores might indicate that you are not dependable. If a landlord has a choice between a tenant with a lower rating, and one with a higher one, who do you think they will choose?

Clean Rental History

Many prospective residents are misled into thinking they must have a rental history. No rental history is acceptable at the majority of apartments.

Here are the most common rental issues renters may encounter.


An eviction occurs when the renter is forcibly removed from the premises. Usually, this is because of unpaid rent. The landlord will have to file a complaint with the courts, and hire a constable to remove the tenant. However, there are other reasons renters can be evicted.

  • Renters break the terms of the lease. If no dogs are allowed in the apartment, and the renter tries and sneaks in a pet, this could result in an eviction
  • All residents can have guests. However, if these guests stay over an extended period, they must register with the apartment community. Many times tenants will try and house a friend who has a criminal record. Actions like this can result in an eviction.

Broken Lease

According to a broken lease occurs when the renter leaves the apartment without fulfilling the terms of the contract. The overwhelming majority of apartment communities will immediately reject your application with this black mark.

It’s not good enough to offer to pay a double deposit. Typically the only solution is for the renter to contact the management company of the previous apartment community. Once the debt is paid off and reported to the credit bureaus, then this should rectify the issue.


A judgment occurs when money is owed to an apartment by the renter. However, the renter has not paid off the debt. For example, If the renter damages the apartment or incurs fees that exceed the security deposit, a bill will be sent after the lease has terminated. If the renter fails to make a payment, the landlord can then sue the tenant for these fees.

In almost all cases, once the debts have been paid, the renter is once again in good standing. And this will be reflected on the credit report.

Low Credit Score

More and more apartment communities are now using credit scores in the overall approval process. Credit card charge-offs and unpaid telephone bills can severely impact a score. Bankruptcies will also tarnish credit.

Management companies aren’t willing to take risks for many renters who don’t meet the minimum score.

When you apply for an apartment, be sure to have all of the documentation you need ahead of time. There is a litany of information. If you don’t have all the materials, this will delay the process.