While rental applications may seem to be probing private information, they are essential for property managers who want to insure that they are getting a responsible, reliable tenant. First, landlords want to make sure that you can pay your rent and can determine so by using rent-to-income ratios (RTIs). Usually, landlords don’t want your RTI to go over 40% of your monthly income, as anything above that could scream instability. They also want to know how long you’ve worked in your job and your salary history, as those are also signs of stability.
Landlords also want to make sure that you pay your bills. Just because you have a stable income doesn’t mean that you reliably pay your bills on time, so property managers may look into your credit history. If your credit history was marred by something in the past, landlords may still work with you if you prove that your stable employment means you will be more responsible with your payments.
Landlords may also look into whether or not you were a good tenant in the past. They can do this by calling past landlords or checking up on your references. If you had a problem in the past, the best thing to do is to be honest with your future landlord so that they don’t find out from a scorned past landlord. All in all, being straightforward and open with your future landlord is the best way to begin a business relationship with them, and will make you seem more professional.