Looking for a rental home can feel like a job search.
Will the landlord like me?
Am I a good enough candidate?
Will something in my past history disqualify me?
You can take some of the mystery out of what your rental past presents by handing an impressive document to your future landlord or property manager.
We’ll show you how to create a complete rental resume.
What is a rental resume?
Just as your regular resume provides a history of the work you’ve done for a prospective employer to assess, your renting resume will lay out your residential and financial picture for your next landlord.
Most landlords and property managers have basic needs when it comes to figuring out who to rent their property to: ideally, they want someone who is dependable, can afford their rent and would prefer to stick around for a while.
Why should you have one?
A rental resume is a great timesaver. With one, you don’t have to dredge up lease application details such as dates, addresses and telephone numbers over and over again. It is also a persuasive document, helping to make your case as a reliable and financially-fit tenant.
Think of the work you put into a rental resume as work you won’t have to repeat time and again, looking back at records and old files the next time you start a rental search. What’s more, a rental resume makes everything move a little faster when the landlord has to make a choice on a resident — a definite bonus in a competitive rental market.
What should be on it?
A complete rental resume will have information about you and everyone who will be living with you, including your spouse or partner, roommates, kids and pets. For the adult members of the household, include:
- Employment and income history
- Education, if it involves a degree or the pursuit of one
- Rental history
- The offer to provide references
Don’t be afraid to insert some personality into the document in terms of sharing where each of you is from, your interests or your future goals, especially if the rental house can somehow help you accomplish them. Including some biographical and personality details about kids and pets is also a plus. Knowing even a little something about them will make a landlord feel more like he or she knows the potential renters a little better, even if the information is spare and no doubt glowing.
It’s a great idea to provide a statement of what you are looking for at the top of a rental resume, like the professional “objective” section of an employment resume. This section gives you a chance to show that the apartment you are applying for is actually one you want and fits the criteria you require. You could also list here your ideal rent figure, to show that you are aware of how much the rental in question will cost.
This sample shows how well a rental resume can be crafted. Notice how the applicants just came out and said who they were in rather candid terms, including the fact they had never been evicted or convicted of a crime. Though a landlord can check all the facts, it is a great confidence-builder when I prospective resident feels comfortable enough to say, “I have nothing to hide.”
The next time you face a rental search, prepare for it seriously. With a rental resume, you can be sure you will always be putting your best renting foot forward!