Applying for rental properties: The do’s and dont’s.

Mar 18, 2019 8:00:00 AM

With rental housing continuing to experience unprecedented occupancy rates, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward when looking and applying for a rental property.

The more prepared you are, the better the chance you will have in ensuring a tenancy agreement can be reached.  

First comes the initial contact and appointment. This can happen a number of ways. Consider though sending a thoughtful email to the Property Manager as the first point of contact. In it you can provide initial detail about yourself or your family and respond to various elements in the ad. Then, follow up with a phone call to make an appointment, if you haven’t received a call back already.

The appointment is not only your opportunity to see if the home will work for you but also to build a relationship with the Property Manager. This can be challenging if it is a group appointment as you may not get much face time with the Property Manager (see above). If it suits, ask for an application. You can always go to our website to retrieve it, but let the Property Manager know you’re submitting one.

When filling out your application, be sure to complete it in full, be honest, and ask if there’s something you’re not sure about. Remember, the Property Manager doesn’t know you but they’re doing their best based on the information you’ve provided to assess suitability and financial capability. You may then consider providing a profile and written references with your application. The more information you’ve prepared, the easier it will be to process and have an owner accept your tenancy.

In addition, know what’s on your own credit report (this can be done through each of the credit bureaus for free once a year). Sometimes these reports are incorrect so it’s worthwhile knowing what’s on record for you.

While these reports show debt and provide an opinion of credit risk, they don’t offer the complete story of financial capability. You may consider providing supplemental documentation, especially if you know you your credit is problematic or you don’t have much history in the country. This may come in the form of proof of income, identifying additional sources of income, a partial bank statement showing cheques that have cleared or a statement showing reserves. 

Remember when applying for a property, the more information you can provide, the faster your application can be processed and the faster you can find your new home!


Here’s some things you should consider before sending off your application.

DO: Consider writing a profile of yourself and include written references and other pertinent information that may help the Property Manager learn more about you.

DO:  Inform your referees that they may receive a call/email for a rental reference. And, follow them up with a thank you. You never know when you may need their help again or you can return the favour.

DO: Know what’s on your credit report.

DO: Use the viewing time to determine home suitability as well as build rapport with the Property Manager.

DON’T: Forget additional sources of income. The application only asks so much but if you have additional sources, it helps build a picture of financial capability. 

DON’T: Leave blanks on your application. This can slow down the process.  If you’re unsure about the consent you’re providing or anything else, ask the Property Manager before you submit your application. Incomplete or unconsented applications may result in your application being bypassed.

Topics: Property Management, Applications