How to make your lease application stand out to Landlords

Searching for the perfect apartment is a little like finding the perfect job. A great application and an even better first-impression may be all you need to impress a landlord and snag that rental. The bottom line is landlords are looking for the perfect tenant to be reliable, respect them and the property and pay the rent without delay. In such a competitive market, it can be hard to find that, so we’ve narrowed it down to 5 key things tenants can do to make a great first impression and encourage a potential landlord to consider your application first.

  1. Review Your Social Media

    Before you start looking for potential apartments, make sure your digital footprint is ready to be scrutinized. It’s likely that landlords, agents or property managers will Google you right away to evaluate you and see if you’re their dream tenant. In order to get ahead of this, Google your name to see what pops up. If you feel like there’s content that doesn’t represent you fairly, you can submit a de-listing request to Google which will be manually reviewed by an employee. It doesn’t guarantee the content will be removed, but it is a step you can take in protecting your privacy and your reputation. Next ensure your LinkedIn is updated with your most recent job and a polished profile picture, your Instagram and Facebook accounts are set to private.
  2. Write a Killer Introduction Letter
    The competitive market makes every interaction with a potential landlord important. It also means that waiting to attach your cover letter to the rental application is already too late. We suggest crafting a heartfelt and personable cover letter and sending it to the landlord from the very first interaction you have with them. The letter doesn’t need to be elaborate, it just needs to provide the landlord a sense of the type of tenant you art. Share why you are interested in that particular apartment, a little about your current job, and that you mean business. Check out our sample cover letter below to see how a friendly and descriptive letter can set you apart from other applicants and increase your chances of securing that rental unit.

    Sample cover letter

    Dear Landlord Name,

    Hi, I’m Rima Jones and it’s great to e-meet you! I am submitting an inquiry for the property at 123 Perfect Apartment Street. Since I first moved to the city in 2015, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to move to the neighbourhood, but I had such a great relationship with my current landlord, it wasn’t the time. However, now with my new job, I was looking for something walking distance from the office to help me save on commuting costs – which is how I came across your unit for rent. It is exactly what I’m looking for, and I think it would be a great fit for me!

    While, I’m sad to leave my apartment 942 Old Apartment Lane, I’ve been there for 3 years and I’m really looking forward to upgrading to a more stylish rental property such as 123 Perfect Apartment Street. Now with my new position as a developer at Awesome Websites Inc, I’m in a position to do so!

    I would love to come by to meet you and tour the unit at your earliest. To show my interest and to show what a great tenant I am, I have attached a reference from my current property manager for your review.

    Thank you so much for your early consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me by replying to this email, or calling me directly at (XXX) XXX-XXXX.



  3. Be Prepared

    Before you meet the landlord and tour the unit, have everything you need ready to keep the application moving and help save the landlord precious time. Bring along a resume of your previous rental history, including any reference letters or contact information.

  4. – Copies of your identification documents.

    Proof of income (You can use your tax filing from the previous year if need be)

    – A letter from your employer that confirms your employment.

    – A bank statement that demonstrates you have enough money to pay the rent for a few months, that you haven’t recently had a cheque come back as ‘non-sufficient funds’ (NSF) or that provides information for a credit check.

    A LOCNEST Pre-Approval to show that in case of non-payment of rent or damage to the unit you are backed by LOCNEST over and above any deposits or last-month’s rent that the landlord may collect.

    References (the names and contact information of people who know you and can confirm that you would be a good tenant – for example, former landlords or friends).

    – A resume of previous rental properties that you have stayed at and contact information.

    – A completed application form. If your province doesn’t have a standardized form, most property management companies will have one on their website.

    – A credit report 

    You can also stay a step ahead of the competition by bringing along a checkbook to cover a fee such as a security deposit or even first month’s rent. Most apartments won’t require you to sign on the spot, but if you’re in a particularly competitive neighborhood, it can help you get the unit you want.

  5. Make a Great First Impression
    Now you’ve made it to the initial viewing, arrive on time or 15 minutes early. Whether you’re meeting with the landlord, property manager or real estate agent, they likely have been hosting back-to-back appointments throughout the day and are exhausted. Being late throws off their schedule and makes a terrible first impression – so plan properly. Once you’ve arrived:
  6. – Introduce yourself to whoever is showing you the apartment.

    – Express your appreciation to them for making the time to meet with you.

    – Ask a few questions about the apartment – this will make you memorable.

    – What is your ideal lease duration?

    – How soon are you looking to fill the unit?

    – How much interest have you had in the unit?

    – Describe your ideal tenant.

    – What’s your guest policy?

    – Do you require renters insurance?

    – Are you more likely to rent to a tenant backed by a guarantor such as LOCNEST than one without?

    – Dress nicely professional attire communicates responsibility and financial stability.

  7. Be Open and Honest
    This could be in regards to unusual work hours, family members who visit for extended periods, children, pets and even your credit score. On the other hand, if you have bad credit, you must prove to the landlord that you are a trustworthy tenant.

    Arriving at your viewing with a list of documents to prove to the landlord that you’re a credible tenant is important. So is being open and honest about anything that may impact your application. Accompanying this conversation with a LOCNEST Lease Guarantee Pre-Approval (which you can conveniently apply for on our website) helps landlords understand if you are a not only a good fit to their rental property, can afford the agreed-upon rent and you are unlikely to default – in addition to being backed by a credible third party service.The benefit of the pre-approval is that you are letting landlords know that when they rent to you, their residential rental property is backed for the entire duration of your lease or up until the landlord has signed off on its release. When you request a Lease Guarantee Pre-Approval to accompany a rental application, LOCNEST begins with a credit check supplied by Equifax or if required, a secondary vetting process to assess whether you are eligible.

    Finally, a LOCNEST Lease Guarantee comes at no cost to landlords. Ready to learn more about LOCNEST, the benefits of our Lease Guarantee? Click here for details.

With all of these tips, tricks and documents in hand, we’re sure that you’re providing the landlord something to consider!