Congratulations, you did it! The apartment you found on Apartments.com is just about yours – the only thing left to do is sign the lease on your new home.
On the day of there can be a lot going on. Remembering to carry with you important papers and documents is the best way to guarantee a smooth lease signing and make your new home official. We’ve created a checklist to do just that, so you can move in immediately once the process is complete.
___ Proof of Employment
Because landlords are in to make money off the rental, they will likely require their new residents to provide proof of employment before signing the lease. They do this because they want to make sure their residents make enough to afford the rent and pay on time. Below are some widely accepted proof of employment documents you can show:
- Past two months of pay stubs (or bank statements)
- Offer of employment letter (for new hires)
- Income tax returns (for self-employed renters)
___ Photo Identification
Typically with any major financial decisions – like buying/leasing a car, getting married or opening a bank account – you need to present a photo ID. Leasing a home also requires a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or non-expired passport.
___ List of Past Addresses
A landlord will want to see a list of your former residences. Be sure to include your former community or property name, its address, and the name and phone number of your previous landlords or property managers. 2-3 addresses are typically enough, but you may want to add more.
___ Letters of Reference
Smaller communities and properties might ask for a reference letter or two, before they lease out an apartment. Make sure the letters you receive are dated and signed by the person you sought the recommendation from.
___ Proof of Renters Insurance
Many communities and rental agencies will require a tenant to show they’ve bought renters insurance. This is to protect you and your belongings in case of damage from a natural disaster.
___ Checkbook or Money Order
Don’t forget to bring a form of payment to the lease signing. If you haven’t already covered your first month’s rent, this will be the day to do it. Depending on the landlord, you may need to pay the first month with a money order rather than a check. However, checks and online payments will suffice for the remainder of the lease.
___ Vehicle Registration
Some apartments, especially in large cities, may have a limited number of parking spaces. These properties often assign their residents a marked space for their vehicle. If you’re renting from a property with limited parking, you may be asked to provide your vehicle registration number – or make, model, color and license plate number - so your car isn’t accidentally towed.