Post # 1
I am kind of freaking out now with this whole new apartment thing. I went to go and view a 2 bedroom apartment for $850+hydo and I fell in love with it as it is the perfect place and the perfect location.
So I took an application to fill out and the property manager said that if I could write her a cheque tomorrow she’d cancel all other showings for us.
So I never actually have completed an application for an apartment as our previous landlord just took our word for everything and it bothers me – a lot.
They require a lot of in depth info about our finances. I budgeted and I know we can afford this apartment. FI currently makes $1400/month and they want paystubs for the past month which don’t actually equal that amount because he was sick with the flu for about 2 weeks so it looks more like $900/month as there is no sick pay. I don’t feel comfortable handing that information over so I confirmed with the property manager I can get a letter from the employer stating his regular gross monthly pay.
Then she mentioned that the letter just needs to confirm that he’ll be staying there for sure as people with contracts apply only to lose their contract later on… this now worries me because FI is on a contract – he is hoping him employer won’t mention the contract and that he is just working with them “indefinitely” because the contract doesn’t say he is done on X date.
Then I found out online that landlords take the rent and multiply by 40 and that should be your yearly pay – I am kind of floored because that means that FI needs to make $3000/month to live there! I am currently finishing up my internship with the city and I will be able to work full time in May (which is when my income can close the gap between $1400 and $3000)…
I fear that even though we are able to pay the $1700 (first/last) up front and that his income is enough to be able to cover rent for at least that first month that we will be denied the apartment… this is the average apartment price around town so if we get denied here we won’t be able to rent anywhere.
She also mentioned that we could print off any bank statements that could help. I am thinking of printing off my statements and showing my cash deposits from my on the side tutoring (sometimes $500 or $300 per month) and see if that helps PLUS printing off my student loan notice that shows I was given $1500 this year (even though it isn’t in my account).
We don’t want to just settle for another tiny bachelor because we’d only be living there for a few months and waste the landlords time. We want to make the move into the apartment we’ll be living in for years!
So has anyone had any experience renting when your financial situation may not appear perfect to a landlord?
Post # 3
Typically if you don’t qualify, you can get your parents to co-sign the lease.
Post # 4
You’re borrowing a lot of worry and trouble without even submitting any paper work! Just submit what they are asking for, and submit more than one months pay if that makes you feel better.
But I have to ask, with utilities and other bills etc how is 1400.00 going to cover living expenses if rent alone is almost 60% of his income? I’m not sure your fiance HAS the income level that any land lord would be looking for consistently. And it’s a liability for them that his last month’s take home was only 900.00. How would you guys pay your rent and other bills if that happens again?
Post # 5
@louisianablue: I moved out of my parents house years ago and my mother strongly maintains that once we are out that we are on our own – she would never consider co-signing anything for anyone!
@MsJ2theZ: I did budget and with $1400 he can cover all of his basic expenses – we won’t have anything like cable or internet until I start working full time in May. The move in date is not until April so that allows us to save up a couple of months worth of expenses in that time just in case. Plus I have a months expenses stashed away in cash in event of an emergency.
He only started this new job last month so he only has 3 paystubs and none of them are consistent (the first one is 1/2 because he started in middle of pay period, 2nd and 3rd are lower than they should be because of the flu) but I know if we had to sumbit the next 2 paystubs that they would confirm his regular pay. As long as the employer can include his gross pay in the letter we should be good to go but I still feel they won’t want to cut it so close.
If that happens again I trust that I will be working by then and can take over the rent responsibilities with my pay alone. I have a couple of potential opportunities but nothing concrete that they can confirm I will be working and making X amount after 1 month of us living there. We also have a few thousand in income tax returns coming that we are saving as well to cover any surprise expenses.
I am just hoping our ability to pay $1700 upfront will show them that we are capable of saving money.
I realize that I am worrying before even handing in the application but this is a big deal for me as I want this apartment so badly. I had never realized what was involved in renting an apartment.
Post # 7
@ElayneRunner: Typically apartments require your monthly salary to be three times the amount of rent. That means he would need his monthly salary to be at least $2550. The apartments might just ask you guys to come back once you have your job in May, or have a co-signer.
Post # 8
@ElayneRunner: Asking for all the financial information is very standard. Are your parents willing to co-sign? That’s what I’ve always done…
If they won’t, then you’ll just have to hope for the best. If you don’t get approved, you’ll unfortunaately just have to find a more affordable place to live. It’s incredibly difficult to evict someone, so that is why they are so strict about the income requirements.
Post # 9
@ElayneRunner: It’s very standard to require financial information and accompanying documentation. In competitive rental markets like where I live, landlords aren’t going to take a chance on a tenant when they don’t have to – there’s always someone reliable waiting in line.
Also, your budget seems crazy. You guys only have an income of about $1400 and you’re going to spend $850 of that on rent? That isn’t smart. It’s not usually advisable to spend much more than 30% of your income on rent/living expenses. I know you said you’re graduating in May, but unless you have a job secured right now, it’s a huge risk.
You said your mom won’t cosign, but what about your FI’s parents? FI has always had to have his dad co-sign because he’s in school. That’s very standard where we live.
Why do you need a 2 bedroom apartment? If it’s just you and your FI, a 1 bedroom is just fine and is usually much more affordable.
Honestly, if I was the landlord, I probably wouldn’t accept your application – it seems too risky.
Post # 10
Honestly I think you’ll probably need a cosigner.
Post # 11
@annb9: I agree with you. My husband and I are landlords of the property that I owned prior to meeting him and I really don’t think I would allow renters to move in if I knew that they were paying over 60% of their monthly income on rent. I would be too afraid that I wouldn’t get my rent every month.
OP – Are you sure that you are not cutting yourself short with other expenses that you have? When we went through marriage counseling, our counselers mentioned that the average couple spends $125/wk just on groceries! There are many ways to cut down that cost down, but factoring in food, gas, electric, gas for the car, cell phones, etc. – $550 a month seems like a very low amount to cover all of those items. I am not saying you woldn’t be able to do it as I don’t know your expenses, but I really think you would be cutting it close!
Post # 12
- Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI
I agree that everyone I know in a tough financial spot had to get a co-signer. It does not have to be a parent, so in case it comes up I would try and think of someone you might be able to ask. My Dad cosigned on my cousin’s apartment while she’s getting her PhD. FBIL had his uncle cosign for him too. FBIL lives in a very competitive market and needed to have a six figure salary minnimun to even be considered for his apartment without a cosigner.
ETA: I have never been asked to provide more than my salary, employers name, phone number. Or when moving to start a new job I needed a letter to verify my employment which included my start date and salary. But I think it really depends on the rental market you’re in at the time.
Post # 13
For apartments I have been in as a student, they did not ask financial information. Now that I’m working full time, the apartments have only asked for monthly salary but did not ask to see pay stubs or anything. They required your gross salary to be more than 3x the monthly rent. I agree with PPs that you guys will be stretched very thin to live in this apartment on his income alone, if they even approve you as tennants.
Post # 14
I should have added a total to monthly income as it may help.
He makes $1400 per month but with my tutoring I can make anywhere from $300-$600/month so that looks more like $1700 – $2000 monthly not including the savings we will have stashed aside for anything income doesn’t cover.
In my town I feel as if landlord standards may be relaxed – I am not sure. It is just that a lot of people stretch their budgets in a similar fashion and rent takes up a large portion of monthly expenses.
@annb9: In my area 1 and 2 bedrooms are priced at the same rates for some reason, it is kind of ridiculous when you step back and look at it. The only 1 bedroom apartments available right now are at $850 +hydro as well! I will see if a cosigner will work as FI’s mother would be more than willing to sign but I know her income isn’t the best either if they were to require her to prove her income.
@Soon_to_be_wed: We originally lived off of $800 per month when rent was $550! Our budget hasn’t grown that much so our monthly expenses are very low and maintanable. We manage off of $200/month in groceries and are only other expenses are public transportation, cell phones, internet and minor misc expenses. It is the reason why in only a couple of months we have $1700 ready to go as first/last on an apartment.
Post # 15
You’re way overanalyzing this. Just submit the paperwork that’s needed, cross your fingers, and don’t worry about it.
If this one doesn’t work out, another one will.
Geez, in my city you would not find a nice 2-bedroom for that price!!
Post # 16
I can’t belive the price for the two bedroom! We have a small one bedroom and it’s 1500 a month, were on a waiting list for a two bedroom and the standard here is 2,300. So crazy!
However I was just thinking if it was possible to wait until you had a job to move. It would save you a lot of stress I think. Once your FI gets settled into his new job and you get settled into a job I think it would be easier. I obviously don’t know the situation you are in now, but it could be beneficial if you could wait it out another month or so.