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Happy young woman showing her new house

1st Apartment Lease

Renting your first apartment -

5 questions to ask yourself.

I want my own place and I would like a nice apartment in a nice area with granite counter tops and a fitness center. I would like to live in or near Plaza Midwood, Elizabeth, NODA, Uptown, Dilworth or South End.... any of the super cool areas.  

Renting an apartment for the first time is very exciting.  Are you ready to rent? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself.

  1. Do you have enough income to qualify?  Gross income (all sources of income prior to taxes being taken out) should equal 3 times the monthly rent.  For Example:  If the monthly rent is $950, gross pay should be at least $2850 per month.  Some properties will allow 2.5 times but this is rare.  If the gross income of the renter is not enough a guarantor or co-signer may be accepted.  

  2. Are you prepared to pay a security deposit equal to one month's rent if needed?  Renters without an established credit history or rental history in their name, may be required to place a larger deposit.

  3. Are you prepared to pay the security deposit, rental application fee, administrative fee, pet fee and or pet deposit?   The upfront monies can be substantial.  Plan on the rental application fee to be $25 to $100 per person. the security deposit to be $0 to 2 months rent, the administrative fee  $75 to $200 and the pet deposit/fees $250 to $500 per pet.

  4. Do you have a family member that can co-sign or guarantee your payment of the lease?  A co-signer or guarantor can often assist with the qualification process if their credit and income meet the requirements.  The co-signer or guarantor will have to provide documentation and most likely complete a rental application and pay the necessary fee.  The policies and costs associated with this process vary from property to property.

  5. Do you want to share expenses with a roommate?  A roommate can share the living expenses with you and assist in qualifying for the apartment, however, some properties require roommates to qualify at 3 times the monthly rent, individually.

Preparedness equals success!

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