The Perfect Renter

The rental market is heating up, and now is a busy time in a lot of rental-heavy communities. Prospective renters need to get their papers in order and act fast to snatch up vacant apartments.

According to the National Apartment Association, several areas around the country are hot rental markets, experiencing an increase in annual rent growth. Renting is popular now because it “allows job mobility, especially for younger professionals who might not want the financial obligations and restrictions of a long-term mortgage, says Frank Mauck, manager of communications for the NAA. “Rental housing offers customizable lease terms and the opportunity for them to live in urban areas, especially near job hubs and night life.”

With this competition, it’s important that renters know how to stand out as desirable candidates. “A potential renter needs to understand this market and how it affects them,” says Ilene Collins, CEO of Apartment People in Chicago. “There is little availability, and owners can be picky. That means this is not the best time to make an offer on the rent. It is also not the best time to ask for less than desirable situations for owners, such as waiving pet deposits and security deposits, and asking for short term leases.”

Collins adds, “Be prepared with job verifications and a good landlord reference. If you are moving and seeking a job or are a student, be prepared with documents showing student aid, co-signers, bank statements, or anything showing how you can pay your rent.”

Collins says that finding exactly what you want in this market takes some flexibility. “When starting a search you have certain must-haves. For example: an enclosed parking spot, a dishwasher and accepting your 65-lb. dog. While you can’t give up your big dog, or put him on a crash diet, you may be flexible on the dishwasher or the enclosed parking.”

In this market, inventory won’t stay on the market long, so make a decision quickly.

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