Renting for the first time has its thrills – from viewing apartments to moving in, it’s an exciting process. But you might also encounter challenges, especially if you have no rental history. After all, you have no way to prove you’re a reliable tenant.
Luckily, rental history isn’t the most important thing in a rental application. But it’s still useful to know a couple of good tips in case you encounter trouble because of it.
What’s a Rental History?
Giving your prospective landlord relevant details about yourself is essential when applying for an apartment. These documents include your rental history and financial background.
The rental history is a detailed report. It contains information about your previous rentals. Your potential landlord may want to see your rental history to learn more about you as a tenant. This is because landlords must ensure their tenants are of good character.
A rental history typically includes:
- Addresses of your previous rentals
- Contact information of your past landlords or property managers
- Period of occupancy
- Your previous rent and your behavior toward payments
- Issues like eviction, late rent payments, or any red flags
- Reports on good and bad conducts
6 Ways to Rent an Apartment Without a Rental History
Your landlord will ask for your rental history to know your general behavior and how trustworthy you are. But if you don’t have one, use one or a combination of the following ways to get around not having one.
1. Offer to Get a Cosigner or Guarantor
You might need a cosigner to sign the lease if you have no prior renting history. A cosigner is technically someone who acts as a guarantor and signs your lease. The ideal choice is a family member who trusts you and is financially secure.
The landlord will need to collect personal information about your cosigner such as their social security number and proof of income. So, you’re going to need their permission to be your on your rental application.
If you can’t pay the rent at any point, the guarantor or cosigner is responsible for stepping in and covering the cost.
2. Provide Proof of Employment
Every landlord wants to know if you have the means to pay the rent. Giving them your proof of employment can help build the trust needed if you’re missing rental history documents. Your proof of employment can be a month’s worth of paystubs or an offer letter containing your salary or hourly pay.
3. Provide References
Recommendations go a long way in giving you credibility. You can ask your boss at work for a recommendation letter. You can also request a personal recommendation from your colleagues and partners at work for your upcoming rental.
References can also highlight how reliable and responsible you are. The recommendations from your boss and colleagues will also demonstrate that you have a paying job with a supportive employer.
Asking only friends, family, or close relatives to recommend you may not be as effective as getting a reference from work. They’re your family and will definitely have a good report about you. So, a reference from them may not be assuring enough.
4. Find a Roommate
Living with a roommate comes with several advantages. Getting a roommate with rental history and a source of income will give you a higher chance of getting your dream apartment.
5. Pay in Advance
Offering to pay in advance may help you avoid having to provide your rental history. This is particularly helpful if you’re renting a small apartment. In Chicago, landlords have to treat advance payments of more than 6 months’ rent as a security deposit.
You can also show proof of your savings or contribute to furnishing the apartment instead of paying in advance. The main goal is to assure your landlord that you’re a good candidate for tenancy even without having any previous rentals.
6. Have a Good Credit Score
A good credit score goes a long way to assure your landlord that you can pay rent. So, a good credit score just might suffice if you don’t have a rental history.
You’ll get a credit check anyway, regardless of your rental history. So, if you intend to get an apartment soon, work on getting and keeping a good credit score, and you might just be able to get away with not having a rental history.
No Rental History? No Problem!
Renting an apartment without a rental history isn’t impossible. After all, you have to start somewhere. And by following these tips, you have a better chance of securing your rented home.
And if you’re still searching, browse through Brixbid’s listings to find your dream apartment!