Most landlords now have you fill out an Application. Why? Good question. One it tells them a bit about you. Name, age, current landlord, employer, how much money you make, etc. Two they use said information to look you up online and see your background. Criminal history, evictions, etc. You may be wondering why they need to know how much you make. Believe it or not it's not to be nosy. They want to make sure that you'll make enough to pay rent and be able to still afford your other bills and food.
So I'll type up a rough draft of what the application might look like (for those who don't know).
Have you ever rented from (Renter):
If yes, where?:
How many kids living with you?:
Pets: If so, what kind?:
Landlord's Phone Number:
Rent Amount: (weekly or monthly)
How long have you lived there:
Previous landlord's phone number:
Income: (Weekly or monthly)
Are you 18 or older?
Have you ever been court evicted?
Have you been convicted of a felony?
Are you a member of the Armed Forces or National Guard?
Every place will have a different looking application, but this is just some of what to expect.
If something doesn't apply to you put N/A. Why? It looks better and the landlord will know that you didn't just miss/skip the question. Example: A man filling out the Application would put N/A next to Maiden name because a man's last name doesn't change so it doesn't apply to them.
For the Interested In you'll need to either put one of that renters places that you're interested in or what you need. For example: a couple with a kid will need to put 2 bdrm (or more if you want more). If you are specifically looking for a house specify 2 bdrm house. If you prefer a house, but it isn't an absolute have to put 2 bdrm house preferred (but not necessary).
About the middle name. Some of you may ask why that's necessary. Reason is you may have a common name and having your middle name helps make sure that we are looking at your information and not some other John/Jane Doe. Wouldn't you love for a landlord to pin an eviction on you that wasn't yours? Or pin a criminal record on you that wasn't yours? I wouldn't.
About current or previous landlord info. They ask because if they have a question about you as a tenant (If you're clean, pay your rent on time, good tenant, etc.) Most of the time landlords don't call your previous landlord, but they might.
About evictions. If you are currently being evicted you would answer this with a yes. Why? Because if you say no because the eviction hasn't gone through yet, but they find out you're going through an eviction you'll look like a liar. So yes, even if it isn't final just say yes!
If you have an appealing background keep it that way! It's not easy for people with a bad background check to get a place to rent. There are plenty of ways to get through life and have fun without having a bad background.
If you're having trouble with a job, theft isn't the answer. You fill out job application after job application, talk to your family, friends, neighbors maybe they'll have some job that they'd be willing to pay you to do (painting, mow the lawn, move some boxes, babysit, clear their drive of snow, etc.) Talk to some churches they may have some work for you to do and if they don't maybe they'd be willing to write you a $25 or more check to help out. There's always a choice.
Some of you may have a not so appealing background aka criminal record, evictions, etc. if that's the case, don't lie. That doesn't help you at all. Remember they look up the information so they know what your background is. Lying to them makes you automatically untrustworthy and no one wants to rent to someone that lies to them. If you lie about your background whose to say you aren't lying about paying your rent? See what I mean? If you have evictions that aren't P.I.F. (Paid in full) call that landlord and pay it off. If you can't pay off the full amount start a payment plan with them. Landlords would rather you pay $20/month on your back due than have you not paying at all. And that also makes you look better. If you've set up a payment plan, most landlords would like to see that you've been consistently paying the previous landlord(s) at least for a few months (probably more like 6 months) before they feel anywhere near ok renting to you. They will want proof that you're paying so have that landlords phone number and, if you can, a print out letter or pay sheet from the landlord proving that you've paid. The way a landlord sees it is if you left owing them money you'll probably do the same to me. No one wants to rent to someone who won't pay their rent.