May 10, 2017

One of the most critical aspects of looking for a rental home is the impression you’ll make upon the landlord or rental agent showing the property. While you probably think you’re just looking for a comfortable place to crash at the end of a day, the reality is the person showing you the property is measuring you against everyone else they’ve met. This individual is looking for someone who meets responsibilities head-on. If this sounds suspiciously like job-hunting, the two are very similar in nature. To that end, here’s how to assemble a renter’s resume.

By and large, every rental application you’ll ever complete asks for the same information. Having it already at hand tells the landlord you’re a business-minded person who thinks ahead and shows up prepared. In other words, you’re someone who will probably pay the rent on time and not cause problems.

While there are a wide variety of formats from which to choose, always include the following:

Contact Information

Just as you would on your employment resume, include your contact information at the very top (name, current address, phone number and email address).

Objective Statement

An objective statement gives the landlord insight into your personality and values. “Objective: To find a quiet place near good schools and my work. A working professional, I’m looking for a long-term rental to provide my child with stability through her formative years.” Boom! You’re a thoughtful, gainfully employed, family-minded person looking to for a peaceful environment, which you intend to keep that way. If you do not know what to write for an objective statement, take a look at this tenant screening guide to see what landlords look for.

Background Information

Your background information should include schools you attended, your degree status, where you’re employed and what you do there. If you’ll have a roommate, include their pertinent details as well. “ Having earned a MS degree at U.C. Berkeley, I am currently employed as a researcher at Bayer in Emeryville. I enjoy tennis, gardening and hiking. I have never been evicted, nor arrested. A letter of reference from my previous landlord is attached.”

Work History

Just as you would on a standard resume, include your current situation at the top and cover five to seven years of employment. List your income, as well as contact information for someone who can verify your employment.

Previous Tenant Experience

Include your current address, the name of the landlord and their contact information, the length of your residency and your reason for leaving. This might be easy however do not write it in such a way where the landlord thinks you are scamming them.

Personal References

Provide contact information for at least two people who have known you for quite some time and would vouch for your veracity. These people should not live with you, but have a good idea of where to find you at all times. This gives the landlord a way to track you down should the relationship go sideways.

Attachments

Include at least three pay stubs from your current job demonstrating an income level equivalent to 2.5 times the monthly rent or better. Bank statements showing sufficient reserves to cover thee month’s rent impresses would-be landlords as well. If the place accepts pets, a photograph will give the landlord an idea of the size and temperament of the animal. A copy of the current registration card for your car shows the year, make, model and confirms your registration is current. You should also include a document confirming you hold a renter’s insurance policy.

Yes, some of this might come across as overkill. However, when you assemble a renter’s resume, the more you can show to demonstrate you’re on the up-and-up, the better shot you’ll have at standing out from other people vying for the home.

About Onerent

Onerent is a rental leasing and management service for the modern owner and renter, managing over 1,000 properties across the San Francisco Bay Area, and Greater Seattle. Onerent offers free real estate education and resources on the Build with Onerent Blog. Find answers to all your legal maintenance finance and leasing questions as well as real estate news that affecting the housing market.

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