Typical Austin Area Rental and Leasing Requirements

Embarking on the journey of finding a new rental property is an exciting endeavor, but it comes with its fair share of responsibilities and requirements. Each landlord and property management company handle things all a little differently.  At the same time, we strive to ensure we are transparent regarding what you might expect with potential application processes for all prospective tenants connected with your rental application. To guarantee that you're fully prepared, let's delve into the comprehensive list of application requirements and considerations that you should keep in mind.

what to expect when renting

Application Requirements:

Securing your ideal rental property entails a thorough application process. Each applicant aged 18 and above must complete a separate rental application and submit the necessary documentation. Here's a detailed breakdown of the essentials:

1.  Identification:  Provide a clear copy of a government-issued identification document such as a Driver’s License, State ID, Military ID, or Passport.
2.  Social Security Documentation:  Include a copy of your social security card or visa for verification purposes.
3.  Proof of Income:  Furnish evidence of your financial stability by submitting your last two paycheck stubs, tax return, or 1099 form.
4.  Application Fee:  Accompany your application with the requisite application fee, payable through various methods including money order, cashier’s check, personal local or national check, or online payment.
5.  Completed Application:  Ensure that all sections of the application are accurately filled out to expedite the processing of your submission.

Special Needs:

In adherence to Federal Fair Housing Laws, all landlords, property management companies, and real estate companies are dedicated to providing equal housing opportunities to all qualified applicants. We encourage individuals with special needs or requests to engage in open dialogue with us during the application process to facilitate any necessary accommodations.

Qualified Income:

Demonstrating sufficient income is paramount to securing your desired rental property. Applicants must collectively earn a minimum of three times the monthly rent amount. This encompasses verifiable income from various sources including employment, retirement funds, subsidies, court-ordered support payments, and more. Income verification must be provided in writing and be readily confirmable.

Employment & Income Verification:

Employment and income details will undergo thorough verification for each applicant. The sufficiency of your income, coupled with the ability to verify it, significantly influences the landlord's decision. A monthly income equivalent to at least three times the rental amount is typically required. Unmarried tenants will be assessed individually based on income qualifications.

To streamline the application process, ensure you possess one of the following acceptable income documentation:

  • Relocation:  Provide an offer letter or income verification from your current or prospective employer, issued on official letterhead and signed by the relevant authority.
  • Self-Employed/Commissioned:  Present your prior year’s tax return along with bank statements from the most recent three months to ascertain your gross monthly earnings.
  • Hourly/Salaried Applicants:  Submit a minimum of one month's worth of paystubs, or alternatively, two months of paystubs or three months of bank statements reflecting consistent payroll deposits.
  • Social Security Disbursement:  Supply a disbursement letter indicating the monthly awarded amount, or furnish three consecutive monthly bank statements illustrating the deposits.
  • Child Support:  Provide a court order or notarized letter outlining the terms of the proposed assistance.

For applicants unable to verify the required income, options include securing a qualified guarantor or prepaying the lease in full.

Credit History:

A comprehensive credit report will be obtained to evaluate your creditworthiness and rental history. The landlord's decision may be influenced by both favorable and unfavorable account information. Unfavorable accounts encompass unpaid judgments, charge-offs, collection accounts, excessive late payments, and past-due accounts. Applicants with multiple landlord debts, judgments, or negative rental histories may face application rejection or additional deposit requirements.

Past Rental History:

Your past rental conduct plays a pivotal role in the application process. Instances of lease violations, late rent payments, returned checks, non-payment of rent, ongoing landlord disputes, or court proceedings may impact the outcome of your application. Multiple instances of landlord debts, judgments, or adverse rental histories may lead to application rejection.

Roommates:

The acceptance of roommates is subject to the discretion of the property owner. Each adult residing in the property, excluding legally married couples, is considered a roommate and must undergo a separate application process. Additionally, roommates may be subject to individual income qualifications.

Criminal History:

As part of the screening process, landlords typically conduct criminal background checks on all occupants aged 18 and above. Applicants required to register as sex offenders will be ineligible for tenancy. Criminal history involving dangerous or violent crimes, domestic violence, possession of illegal substances, or other offenses may result in application rejection. Exceptions may be considered based on the nature and age of the offense, subject to individual assessment.

Landlord Occupancy Standards:

The occupancy standards for each rental property are typically determined based on the number of bedrooms. Adherence to these standards ensures a comfortable living environment for all occupants while complying with legal regulations.

1 Bedroom: Up to 2 occupants plus 1 child.
2 Bedroom: Up to 4 occupants plus 1 child.
3 Bedroom: Up to 6 occupants plus 1 child.
4 Bedroom: Up to 8 occupants plus 1 child.

Lease Guarantor:

A lease guarantor may be enlisted under specific conditions, such as insufficient verifiable income or familial relationships. The guarantor must meet the requisite credit, income, and criminal history criteria, and their monthly income should be four times the rent amount.  The landlord or property management company representing the property you select will be in control of these decisions.

In certain circumstances, the use of a lease guarantor may not be permitted, such as instances of unacceptable credit or rental history, or if the guarantor has outstanding landlord debts or legal issues.

Pet Policy Information:

Pet policies vary across properties, with each owner establishing their own guidelines. While some properties accommodate pets, others may have restrictions or require additional deposits and rent. It's imperative to review the property listing to ascertain the pet policy specifics.

Pets must be licensed, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered, with documentation readily available for verification. Breeds predisposed to aggressive behavior are typically prohibited. Additionally, pet screening and applicable fees may be required for each pet occupying the property.

Support Animals:

Support animals are not considered pets under Federal Fair Housing Laws. Therefore, no additional security deposits or rent are imposed for such animals. However, support animal owners must undergo the pet screening process, providing the necessary documentation to facilitate approval.

Pet Screening:

Pet screening is a convenient tool facilitating the consolidation of essential information regarding your pet. Landlords, property management companies, and real estate companies may mandate pet screening for each pet or companion animal before move-in. The process involves providing details such as photos, vaccinations, microchip information, and behavioral traits. Fees associated with pet screening may apply, with service/companion animal registration being exempt.

Navigating the rental application process necessitates thorough preparation and compliance with the outlined requirements. By adhering to these guidelines and furnishing the requisite documentation, you can enhance your prospects of securing your ideal rental property seamlessly. Should you have any inquiries or require further assistance, our dedicated team at [Property Management Company] is here to support you every step of the way.

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