Rental Application Process Mistakes You're Making! | 7 Rental Application Mistakes to Avoid

Arlington VA real estate agent and Realtor Matt Leighton goes through 7 common mistakes that people are making when they submit an application to rent a property. Download a Free Rental Application here:

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7 Rental Application Mistakes You Are Making:

0:45 – Negotiating before applying.
1:57 – Applying too far out.
3:56 – Not knowing your move-in date.
5:55 – Not including your SSN.
6:49 – Not explaining any credit issues.
8:20 – Not having the first month of rent ready
10:12 – Not knowing how many roommates you have

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These tips are mostly based on Virginia rental applications. While your state may have the same or similar procedures, be sure to check with your local real estate agent on the best way to apply for a rental property.

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Matt Leighton – Arlington VA Real Estate Agent
Matt [at] Orange Line Condo dot com
Century 21 Redwood Realty
1934 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201


32 thoughts on “Rental Application Process Mistakes You're Making! | 7 Rental Application Mistakes to Avoid”

  1. any ideas on what you should do if you have more than enough money but no income? thanks!
    also do you work in georgia.?

  2. My husband has a credit score of 730, I started building credit about 4 months ago and am already at 530. BUT in order to meet the income requirements we have to combine my FAFSA grant, my part time job income, and his part time job income. No one wants to rent to 2 young 20 year olds who just barely meet the income requirements and have no rental history 🙁 any tips???

  3. Can u answer one questions i think someone died in my apartment before i moved in because there is fire damage in restroom so how would i find out the information i am seeking

  4. As a tenant, I don't feel comfortable giving out my SSN. If I rent a new property every few years, imagine how many people have my SSN over my lifetime. And if you think about it, sharing my SSN one time could potentially ruin my life. There is an application that does a credit and background check without sharing the SSN with the agent or landlord. It's called TransUnion SmartMove.

  5. An excellent resource for short or long term housing is They have an established community as well as listings all across the world. It was created as a no fee resource for traveling academics, but is open to anyone looking for housing or looking to rent out their homes.

  6. My fiancé , kids, and I are looking to move in ASAP to this townhouse that we are interested in. We’ve never rented before besides living with my parents and paying them rent each month. Would that still fall under the category of “rental history”? Also, our credit is somewhat bad BUT we’ve never had any evictions. The only thing we have is hospital bills (which I don’t understand because our health insurance pays a good amount) but other than that it shows that our car payment is always paid on time, would we still have a good chance of being approved?

  7. I’m looking for a place but I’m young and don’t really have credit. I’m scared I’ll get denied by every place even tho I’ll have provable income. Do many landlords or companies work with you on this? I don’t have the option of trying to build my credit for 6-12 months.

  8. Ridiculous video – basically bald guy complains about his job’s problems.

    Why would people not negotiate before paying idiots like you an application fee? People can look at an apartment early so they can do life planning. Your time isn’t as valuable as you think – you provide a service that includes your “precious” time.

    Congrats. You have a job that barely requires a high school diploma and can be done by a stay-at-home mom in her free time. Get over yourself.

  9. Nope sorry you do not need my soc # . This is why I have a driver's license, proof of Bill's from pervious rentals and verification from said rentals how long I was a tenant and verification of a job. Also in this age of identity theft just no. As my aunt says I will give you my ssn if you give me yours ….so I can
    background check you as well. I dont want to rent from someone with bad credit or norman bates as a landlord.

  10. My Fiancee and I just applied for a rental home yesterday and the owner didnt ask for a move in date (yet) but to be honest we are ready to move in tomorrow if he called us up and said we are approved. Would that be a good answer? Because we are trying to get away from our area as soon as physically possible. We live in a very rural area with no cell service and very unstable wifi as our internet at the moment so we are trying to get into the city ASAP. I just don't want to say the wrong thing to the guy. I'm just curious how to tell him we are ready to move in as soon as he is willing to give us the keys (if we get approved that is).

  11. Look matt that is completely unreasonable to assume the normal person can afford two times or three times the market value for you to rent an apartment.
    What do you do about that..?

  12. let’s my application is approved, paid all the deposit and extra fees, ready to move in but i’m only available to move in the first of the next month, will the landlords not prefer that or it’s ok with them?

  13. Great video with good points! As a property manager who gets tons of inquiries, I can say that many owners absolutely hate it when people just leave one sentence inquiries like: hi, is this available? Can I see it?

    Please provide a professional brief introduction of yourself. Owners appreciate getting some formal background such as : Hi, I love your place and I recently sold my house and would love to see your place. Please let me know if it's available. It just sounds more professional and makes yourself stand out from the crowd.

  14. Hi Matt, what if a large family of like 8 are applying a rental application and they kinda reduced the amount of tenants living there. You know how landlords tend to decline applications with large families with children.

  15. Hi quick question. Im in the Southern Cali area. I filled out an application for an apartment. I put down a deposit as well
    But I ended up being transferred and not moving in. I didnt sign the lease or take possession of the unit. Am i entitled to me deposit back?

  16. Hi Matt,
    Can agents from the different brokerage share NTN report? Is it the client responsibility to get the copy of the NTN report from NTN and send to another agent from the different brokerage for the different property?

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