Kari Lloyd

Applying for an apartment is a lot like applying for a job – you'll be required to show additional documents to support your identity and background. After all, your new landlord has only just met you, so establishing yourself as someone who will pay the rent on time and care for their property is imperative. While the management of the apartment you apply for may not ask for all of these things, having them prepared means you’ll be ready to apply right away and not miss out on an apartment you really love.

What Items Should You Bring With You?

Proof of Identity

Nearly every apartment is going to want verification of your identity. While for many a driver’s license or state identification will be fine, additional forms of ID are good to have handy for a potential apartment manager who needs a bit more information. Try to bring at least two forms of identification just to be safe. Other ID you may want to bring to support your application includes:

  • Passport
  • Social Security card
  • Military ID
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of naturalization or citizenship
  • Permanent Resident Card

Pay Stubs

Your application may say that you make a certain amount of money a year, but your potential new landlord needs evidence. Bringing your last few pay stubs can help to confirm your information.

Bank Statements

Though it would be unusual for your application to require both pay stubs and bank statements, you’re looking to prove that you’re 1) getting regular deposits from a job; and/or 2) have a steady income. See which one is preferred for your particular application.

Current Tax Return

Yet another way to prove your income is to show your most recent tax return for the last year. While this may show your income for another job (and could potentially be lower than what you’re currently making), you can easily back up any new position with a letter from your employer.

Job Information

Which brings us to getting information directly from your employer that you can share. Ask your employer to provide a letter that states your salary or hourly wage and how much you work. It’s not necessary, but throwing in a few things about you being a terrific and reliable employee can also help establish you as a trustworthy future tenant.

Rental History & Contact Information

While this really only applies to those who have rented before, having a list or letters of recommendation from previous apartment communities and landlords can help establish you as a safe bet for your new tenant. This can be particularly helpful if you're recovering from a bad credit score.

Your Checkbook or Debit Card

If you’re filling out your application, it’s likely you'll be asked to pay an application fee. Application fees vary from apartment to apartment. By bringing your checkbook or debit card, you’ll be able to apply on the spot for an apartment you really love.


Sample Rental Agreement

It's best to understand what your rental agreement might look like so there are no surprises when you go to fill out your application. Below you'll find an example of a rental agreement that a property manager might give you to fill out. Please note, each property will use its own application, so the one you receive might look different.

Download a PDF of the sample rental agreement

Personal Information

Please complete full rental application for each adult (18+).

Full Name:
Date of Birth:
Social Security Number:
Cell Phone Number:
Email Address:

Additional Occupant Information

Please fill out the information for proposed occupants under the age of 18. In addition, please list all pets that would live in rental if applicant is selected.

Full Name:
Relationship to Resident:
Full Name:
Relationship to Resident:
Full Name:
Relationship to Resident:
Pets (include type, breed, size, weight):
Pets (include type, breed, size, weight):

Renter History

Current Address (street address, city, state and zip code):
Owner/Property Manager Name:
Owner/Property Manager Phone Number:
Length of current residence:
Have you ever been served a late payment notice? If yes, please explain.
Have you ever been evicted? If yes, please explain.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony? If yes, please explain.
Do you smoke?
When are you looking to move in?
What length of a lease are you looking for?
Why are you moving from your current place of residence?

Employment History

Current Place of Employment & Address:
Length of Employment:
Supervisor Name:
Supervisor Phone Number:
Supervisor Email Address:
Gross Monthly Income:
Additional Income Sources & Amount:

Credit History

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If yes, please explain.
If you are unable to pay rent, is someone able to loan you the money? Please include person's name, phone number and email address if applicable.
Current Loans & Amount Owed (list all that apply):

References and Emergency Contact Information

Please include at least three references below and one emergency contact. Emergency contact must not live at the same residence.

Name and Phone Number:
Name and Phone Number:
Name and Phone Number:
Emergency Contact Name and Phone Number:

Vehicle Information

How many cars require parking space if application is accepted?
Driver's License Number:
License Plate Number:

Disclosure and Authorization Signature

I have completed this form and the information is both true and correct. I authorize the property owner or manager to run a credit check and/or background check. I authorize property owner or manager to reach out to any and all references listed on the rental application. I understand that any false statements made on this rental application could result in rejection. I understand that this rental application is solely an application and is not a lease or commitment to rent in any way. I understand and agree that the rental application fee is non-refundable.

Applicant signature:

Do you have more questions on the renting process, finding that perfect apartment or what to do after you’ve signed the lease? Check out Apartment Guide’s Renter’s Toolkit — it’s everything you ever wanted to know about renting all in one place!



About The Author

Kari Lloyd has been a freelance writer for over 15 years. A Chicago native and recent transplant to Atlanta, Kari spent 10 years living in London, UK where she worked as a music journalist and restaurant reviewer.