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Can Your Rental Application Be Declined?

Finding a rental property that you like, filling out the application and paying an application fee does not guarantee you a new home. Landlords typically have strict rental criteria that all applicants must meet. Property owner and property managers must treat all potential tenants the same, or they run the risk of violating Fair Housing laws. Should you find yourself denied for a rental property, it is because of something discovered in your rental history or background.


Poor credit scores, delinquent accounts, or unpaid accounts on a credit report can put you in danger of being rejected for a rental property. Landlords and property managers need to ensure that tenants will pay their rent, and if your credit history reveals trouble paying debts and financial obligations, you are a risky in their eyes. Ask first about credit requirements and be honest about any past issues you've had. If you are rejected for a rental property because of your credit history, you are able to obtain a free credit report within 60 days.


Landlords and property managers may require that you earn a certain amount of income to qualify for a rental property. Most want you to earn at least three times the monthly rent amount, and some require more than that. If your income can't be verified by an employer or you cannon provide check stubs or banks statements that reflect your monthly income, you may be denied.


Your rental application requires information regarding current and past landlords because the landlord or property manager wants to know the kind of tenant you are. If you broke a lease, damaged the property, paid rent late (or not at all), you likely will not receive a great landlord reference. A poor landlord reference is grounds for rejecting a rental application. If you have concerns about what a previous landlord may report, take time to explain the circumstances and provide documentation proving your side of the story.


Most landlords and property managers conduct a criminal background check while processing your rental application. Any criminal charges that led to your conviction can immediately disqualify you from moving into a particular rental property. This may feel like discrimination, however there is no legal protection against declining an applicant for tenancy based on criminal history.

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