Apartment Living BlogApartment Hunting › Get a Roof Over Your Head: Tips for Renters in a Tight Market

Rental properties are becoming harder to find, even for qualified renters with good credit and stable income. In a time with record breaking occupancy rates, it’s no wonder rental rates are skyrocketing — demand is just too high.

But what does this mean for people that aren’t ready to purchase their own home and need a place to rent?

The majority of property managers are taking vacant rental properties off the market as soon as they get their first rental application.

Nathan Miller, the president of Rentec Direct, a rental management software used by more than 14,000 property managers nationwide, gave us a look at some rental application data regarding demand:

“We reviewed some statistics from 5236 rental applications received during the first two months of last year. Of those applications, 56% of the units we rented after receiving just one application,” says Miller. “The remaining units received between 2 and 63 applicants per unit. The average overall was 3.54 applicants per unit to find and place a tenant.”

With competition this tough, you need to give yourself the best chances of getting approved so you can secure the rental house that meets your needs.

Here are some great tips for renters looking for an apartment in a tight market.

Apply only for an apartment for which you meet the qualifications:

If you keep getting rejected, it may be because you don’t meet the minimum requirements. When you apply for properties for which you know you won’t quality, you waste your own time and the manager’s time. Take the time to make sure you pass their income requirements and other policies, such as allowable pets — even if you have a well-behaved pooch.

Turn in an application even if they don’t have anything available at the moment

Submit your rental application to a property manager even if nothing is available. This will increase your chances of being first on their list once a property does pop up. If a property manager already has a qualified renter on the waiting list, that means less work for them once a property becomes vacant! To truly stand out, consider submitting a full rental resume along with the standard application. Setting yourself apart as a prepared and professional renter can go a long way in the application process.

Don’t be turned off by an application fee

Property managers do not make a profit on application fees. The money goes to the credit reporting agencies and screening companies used to access background reports on renters. Rental applicants should be glad that their potential manager is screening all renters which will help keep the property safer. If you understand the benefit of application fees and are open to paying them, you will be more likely to find a place that suits your needs faster.

Be ready to pay

Once you pass the screening process be ready to pay all the upfront costs like security deposit, first and last month rent. If you tell your future property manager that you need a week to come up the move-in funds, he or she will likely move on to the next qualified applicant. Be prepared by researching the cost of renting an apartment (beyond just rent) to ensure you are ready for all costs associated with renting and moving.

Be a great renter now!

References are an important part of the screening process for your future property manager. If your current property manager has glowing remarks to make about you as a renter, it will be more likely that you will stand out as the first qualified applicant and you’ll score that dream apartment.

Be flexible

It’s hard to be picky in a tight rental market. That might mean giving up your dream of living right downtown where rents are known to be the highest. Or maybe you’ll have to compromise on shared walls, instead of a detached single family home. Make a list of absolute must-have features that fit your maximum budget and the be willing to compromise on the non-necessities.

Want to learn more about finding the perfect place? Check out “Apartment Hunting” on ForRent.com for more great tips.

About :

Brentnie is a writer and infographic master for Rentec Direct’s educational blog in the rental and property management industry. She loves to share tips and tricks to assist new and experienced renters alike. To learn more about Brentnie and to discover more great tips for renters visit www.rentecdirect.com.


  1. LOL  “Don’t be turned off by an application fee”

    My son and his roommate have spent over $300 in application fee to be told SORRY someone has a better credit score than you. I think they are being ripped off! Where BOISE Idaho. They take the application fee and say it’s not rented but in less then a day it has been rented. It would be fine if they told the truth. But one agent said they had the apt for over a week to be told that the other person got the apartment.  Guess how… MORE MONEY FOR RENT!  So now you can outbid someone for an apartment. He and his roommate are now homeless in Boise Idaho… 

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