What Does A Conditionally Approved Apartment Mean?

When applying for a rental apartment, the owner may require that you fix some issues before you are fully approved. It means that the landlord is willing to give you the apartment if you meet specific criteria or conditions. This process is the same as when applying for mortgage financing.

Once you apply for the apartment, the owner may feel that you still need to take care of a few things before they approve you fully. You will reach this point upon providing documents such as bank statements, pay stubs, utility bills, tax returns, verification of income and employment, debt obligation, and asset statements. 

This article looks at reasons for being conditionally approved, requirements for rental approval, and the steps in applying for an apartment. Read on!

What Are The Reasons For Being Conditionally Approved For An Apartment?

Reasons For Being Conditionally Approved For An Apartment

Various reasons may lead to one being conditionally approved for an apartment, including;

Incorrect Or Inadequate Income

A general rule of thumb is that your monthly rent should not exceed 30% of your monthly gross income. If the apartment you are applying for has a higher rent than this figure, the landlord may not approve you unless you show evidence of other sources of income. If you intend to have a roommate or roommates, the property managers or landlord may scrutinize your income separately. This assures the landlord that the rent will be catered for adequately even if one person moves out. 

You may also be conditionally approved if the income you listed in the application form does not match what is on your paystubs. Depending on the landlord or property agents, you may not be approved if you have not worked for an extended period. It is necessary to know the landlord’s requirements for employment before submitting your application. 

Lack Of Credit History Or Poor Credit Score

A good credit score and history play a significant role in apartment application, just like a loan. A landlord may want to know if you pay your bills on time, how many debts you have, including your loans, utilities, mortgages, and credit card. They may also want to compare your liabilities against your income to see if you can be comfortable paying the rent. 

Lack of credit history or having a bad credit score could make it difficult to get approval. But, you may agree with the property management firm or the landlord to pay a higher security deposit. You may also get someone to cosign for you or get recommendation letters. 

Poor References Or Lack Of The Same

If your reference gives negative information about you or you do not have one at all, it could make it difficult for the landlord to approve you. Therefore, it is essential that you look for someone who you are sure knows you better to give a good recommendation. 

A Negative Aspect In Your Background Check

Like with a loan application, your background history is a crucial factor when applying for an apartment. A property manager or landlord may run a background check to establish rental and criminal history. They will check to see your consistency in rent payment for an extended period, and if there is a gap, they may ask you to explain. The landlord will also seek to know if there is an eviction history, outstanding rent balances, or any other adverse concern. 

What Are The Requirements For Apartment Approval?

What Are The Requirements For Apartment Approval

While different apartments have varying requirements for approval, some of them are common. The standard ones include;

Verifiable Income

It is a requirement in all apartments to have proof of income before getting approved. A landlord expects tenants to pay their monthly rent on time without struggle. As proof, you will need to provide recent pay stubs (either two or three), bank and tax statements. Your future landlord may also decide to call your place of work to confirm the information on the pay stubs. 

A Good Credit Score

Since the landlord needs to know how responsible you will be when paying for your rent, they may require to check your credit history. Lousy credit history may deny you approval for an apartment as it may mean you are not financially dependable. If you do not have a credit history, primarily if newly employed, you can request to pay a higher security deposit or get a cosigner. 

Personal References Or Rental History

You may also provide rental history or use personal references to make your rental application go through faster. Rental history will show whether you have been paying your rent on time and whether there have been evictions from your previous landlords. You can also get references from your employers or college professors who know you better. 

A Cosigner If You Have A Low Or New Credit

If you are renting for the first time or have bad credit, you may request to provide a cosigner. Look for someone with good credit as a guarantor to sign the lease with you. A cosigner agrees to be held accountable by the landlord if you fail to honor your rental obligations. 

A cosigner will also come in handy if your income is below three times the rent. 

A Background Check 

Your background check plays a crucial role in showing how dependable and responsible you are. The landlord may want to check if you have any pending or previous charges to decide whether to approve you for an apartment.  If there is a red flag on your background, you can explain it to show why it is not a problem.

What Are The Steps Involved In The Rental Application Process?

Applying for an apartment involves several steps, including;

Formal Application

After identifying the suitable apartment for your needs, you will have to act quickly since someone else may be interested in the same. You need to submit an application form and the necessary supporting documents for the landlord to screen. You may be required to pay a non-refundable application fee, and it is vital to check with the apartment first. 

You can check whether the apartments you are interested in have posted the application form online on their website. If available, be sure to fill it out and email it to the landlord or management. If the application form is not available online, you can fill it from the leasing office. 

Paying The Application Fees

Most apartments have a non-refundable fee that is necessary for the application processing. This amount is usually used to cover credit and background checks and verify your rental history, and it ranges between $50 and $74.

Showing Proof For Income

Your proof of income is a vital component of a rental application since the potential landlord wants assurance that you can pay your rent on time. Since your rent should not be more than 30% of your total income, it is essential to give evidence of the same by providing your latest pay stubs. You can also provide your bank statements or offer letter if you are starting a new job and have no pay stubs. 

Authorize A Background And Credit Check

Before approving your application, the management or landlord needs to conduct a credit check to prove your dependability. They will also need to check your background to see if you have any convictions or pending charges that may hurt your application. 

Get A Cosigner

If your income is not enough for the rental application, you can ask someone that you trust to cosign the lease with you. Your potential landlord will agree to give you the apartment when you have a cosigner since it is an assurance that they will pay your rent if you fail to do so. 

Paying A Security Deposit

After getting approval, the next step is to pay a security deposit. This amount is usually equivalent to 1-3 months’ rent, depending on the apartment or management. A security deposit is refundable when moving out, but you must maintain your apartment in good condition during your tenancy. 

Wait For Approval

In most cases, you will have to wait from 24 – 72 hours before getting approved for the apartment. But, in some apartments, the approval may come the same day you apply. You need to ask about the length of time you will wait, especially if you are in a hurry to move in. 


When applying for a rental apartment, it is possible to be conditionally approved, just like a loan. If your income is not adequate to meet your rental obligations or you have some issues with your credit history or background check, you may be asked to fix the issues first. 

The landlord or management firm needs to state the conditions that you have to fix before getting the approval. But, it is possible to avoid getting conditionally approved by providing all the crucial documents such as pay stubs, bank, and tax statements in good time. Make sure that you also have a good credit and background history before the application, as these are also crucial. 

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