Applying for a rental home can be as competitive as landing your dream job. The best properties will attract the most qualified tenants, and as a renter, the application process should be approached like applying for a new job. Just as a polished resume detailing your qualifications can make you stand out in a pool of job applicants, a rental resume detailing your qualifications as an outstanding tenant can make you stand out in the rental market.
A rental resume is a starting point to begin the rental process. Landlords and property managers should always conduct thorough tenant screening on all potential tenants, that include credit and background checks. But receiving a rental resume can help you elevate top applicants in the process. Not only does a rental resume present need to know information about an applicant, but it shows professionalism and responsibility for the extra step to go above and beyond.
It is in the best interest of the property manager or landlord to be pick the most qualified tenant for the property. They are responsible for ensuring the property is taken care of and maintain by their tenant. Qualified tenants are more likely to pay rent on time, report maintenance issues before they cause any damage, follow rules outlined in a lease and keep the unit well maintained.
Since it is illegal under the Fair Housing Act for landlords to discriminate against certain criteria applicants do not need to include private information about race/color, national origin, religion, disability, sex and familial status on their rental resumes. Landlords can choose tenants they feel have responsible financial habits based on credit history and employment. And preparing a rental resume that shows current and past employment, rental history, and references gives your landlord reason to believe you are qualified to live in their rental property.
A rental applicant does not need to include familial information, likes names and ages of children under the age of 18. However, it is appropriate for a landlord to know how many people will be living in the unit. And a landlord can reasonably request that any person over the age of 18 be required to be on the lease.
Below are a few categories to include on a rental resume. As part of the application process, a landlord may request a potential tenant to still complete a rental application. A rental resume will be helpful when in filling out a rental application as a lot of the requested information will be the same.
Rental Resume Guide – Sample Template Below
Name and contact information
Always include a way for how a property manager or landlord may easily contact you.
Just like a employment resume, an objective at the top of rental resume is a 2-3 sentence statement about your goals when looking for a new rental. An objective should include what you’re looking for in a rental, what your long-term goals are and why you are a qualified tenant.
Example: “I am looking to relocate from an apartment to a modest single-family home that is in walking distance to restaurants, shops and stores. As a working professional, I am looking for a low maintenance, newer home, in a quiet and friendly neighborhood. I am a responsible tenant, looking for long-term housing.”
The background section lets a tenant provide more information about themselves. This can include current employment, education and if you have pets or roommates. You can also consider including hobbies or interests to personalize you as an applicant. The background section lets a landlord get to know a little bit more about their potential tenant.
Example: “I was born and raised in Ohala, CA and have lived and worked in Fern Valley, CA for the last 5 years. I am a Dialysis Technician at Mercy Dialysis Clinic, where I have worked for 3 years. I worked at Mercy General Hospital at Technician’s Assistant before joining Mercy Dialysis Clinic. When I am not working, I enjoy hiking and playing on my company’s softball team. I do not have any pets. I do not have any roommates. I have never been evicted, arrested or convicted for any reason. I am happy to provide a letter of reference from my current or previous landlords regarding their experience with me as a tenant.”
Landlords need to know you have adequate income and job stability to afford rental payments. Showing your employment history demonstrates responsibility and willingness to make commitments. Make sure to include income details and employer contact information, as most landlords will want to verify employment.
Dialysis Technician, Mercy Dialysis Clinic, Fern Valley, CA
- Supervisor: Jason Santos — Contact: (555)777-1111
- Annual Income: $45,000.00
Rental history is one of the most important criteria landlords use when evaluating applicants. Displaying great tenant behavior on a rental resume is important. Include bulleted information or a few sentences about previous rental properties you have lived. It should include the address, your landlord’s or property manager’s name and contact information, the length of time at the property and the rent amount. It is also a good idea to state why you moved.
Apple Hill Apartments, 2310 Fuji Rd. Fern Valley, CA
- June 2012 – Present
- Contact: Jackie Onana, Property Manager (555) 777-9000
- Rent: $700
- Reason for leaving: Looking to move into a house from an apartment
Just as employers look to references for recommendations for work behavior, landlords can use references to determine if they think an applicant will be a good tenant. You can include a letter of recommendation with your rental resume, but you can also provide reference contact information in the body of your resume.
Your references should include:
- The name
- The relation
- The phone number
- Email address
Additional Documents Available Upon Request
Letters of recommendation, income verification and proof of financial reserves are supporting documentation your landlord may require as part of the rental application. Stating that you have those documents available on your resume shows you are prepared, know what to expect and have nothing to hide.
Providing a rental resume when applying for a rental home is a great way to stand out in pool of applicants in a competitive rental market but it is not a guarantee you will be approved. A landlord will still complete a rental process that should involve more detailed tenant screening procedures, like running a credit and background check.
Bonus Tip — Other job seeking behaviors rental applicants can emulate:
- Arrive early to your appointments with apartment managers and landlords. This shows that you are responsible, value the landlord’s time and are able to keep commitments. Good time management can be an indicator that you value your home and can take care of your rental property.
- Dress to impress. While a full suit might not be necessary, business casual is appropriate dress for apartment interviews.
- Ask questions, be engaging. Asking questions about the unit and neighborhood shows that you care about where you are living and are truly interested in the property. If you are passive with your interest, your potential landlord might feel like you don’t even want the unit or do not care enough to take care of the unit.