Last Updated on November 22, 2021 by Kelvin Nielsen
Looking to rent an apartment in Texas?
If so, you could be moving to one of the best places in the States. Texas is a great place to be for many reasons.
One, the cost of living here is quite affordable. For instance, you will pay less than you expect for electricity and other bills. This is all thanks to the deregulated marketplace that allows utility providers to choose their preferred suppliers.
Two, there is no state income tax in Texas. And this has made the price of commodities such as bread and sugar low. The list of pros is endless.
However, just like in any state, you have to be meticulous with the rental application. You’ll have to prepare all the required documents beforehand and put them in a file, ready for submission. If you don’t know the paperwork a Texas landlord will ask for, keep reading. Here are the requirements to rent an apartment in Texas.
1. Pay Stubs
Pay stubs are, arguably, the most imperative application documents. They prove that you earn what you claim to and that you can afford rent.
When a landlord is looking at your pay stubs, what they’re interested in is your monthly income. Broadly speaking, Texas landlords use the 3:1 income to rent ratio rule. In other words, you’ll get an apartment in Texas as long as your income triples the rental cost.
As for the number, the landlord will want 2 to 3 of your latest pay-dated pay stubs. And, remember, you’re submitting copies of your stubs; not the original documents.
2. Bank Statements
If your kind of job isn’t the regular monthly one, bank statements can prove your financial stability. Aside from account balance, bank statements highlight your transactions; from money received, sent to withdrawn. By seeing the amounts you transact, the landlord can outrightly decide whether or not to rent to you.
So, how many bank statements should I submit? Well, bring along 2 or 3 of your most recent bank statements. And, to save the landlord’s time, highlight the parts that indicate the dollar you receive.
Now, it’s important to make sure that your bank account reads something sensible before applying. Even though there’s evidence of substantial transactions, the landlord might be skeptical if you have too little in your account. Look, you don’t need millions of dollars sitting in your account; just an amount that shows you aren’t struggling financially.
3. Your SSN
As you probably know, Texas landlords must run a background check. And they can’t do this without your social security number. So, as private as you’d love to keep these 9 digits, you have no choice here.
A landlord will run a background check to ensure that you’ll make a good tenant. As per most landlords, a good tenant is the one who has:
- A positive credit rating.
- A clean eviction record.
- A clear criminal record.
If you don’t meet the above requirements, there are several things you can do to get the apartment. For instance, if your credit score is low, you can look for a guarantor to sign the lease with you. If you have faced eviction, have a previous landlord who knows you as a good person vouch for you.
What if you’ve been convicted of a crime? You can do the following:
- Ask the court to expunge the criminal record.
- Offer a bigger security deposit.
- List several references who can attest to your good character.
4. Proof of Identification
For obvious reasons, the landlord will want to verify your identity. So, while preparing your pay stubs and bank statements, also keep your state ID, driver’s license, and passport ready.
While a landlord can’t discriminate against you because you are a non-US citizen, they can ask for extra documents. A document they commonly ask for is the 1040-NR, non-resident alien income tax return. Landlords are strict with non-citizens because:
- They might not have a credit report.
- They can easily fly back home and get away with unpaid rent.
Although the background check can talk volumes about you, the landlord will need to hear what your references will say. The list of references could consist of your previous landlords, current employer, co-workers, among others.
References can greatly influence the landlord’s decision to rent you. For instance, if your renting history shows that you paid a late fee, a workmate can help you justify why. They can affirm that you had financial drawbacks then but you’re now back on track.
That said, before listing someone as a reference, inform them first and seek their permission. Also, the people you choose should look responsible and honest in the eyes of the landlord. Instead of using your college dorm mate, list your mentor, coach, or former employer.
6. Vehicle Registration and Proof of Insurance
You should only worry about vehicle registration if you plan to bring along a car. A landlord wants these details so that they can always tell the vehicles that belong to the apartment. This way, they can avoid mistaking your car for an abandoned one and towing it. Also, should there be an emergency and your car needs moving, they can easily reach you.
7. Pet Information
If you have a pet, be ready to give details about it. Some of the information you could give include the pet’s breed, size, weight, and age. Also, carry along the documentation that proves the pet is vaccinated.
What’s more, some landlords will charge you a refundable or non-refundable pet deposit. Others will even take your pet through a screening process. The only exception to this is if your pet is a service pet. Landlords aren’t allowed to discriminate against disabled tenants on the basis of a protected class.
8. Job Resume
Pay stubs and bank statements can prove that you have a steady income source, no doubt. However, your job resume will show how stable your dollar is and how reliable you are.
Let’s take it practically. Say your resume indicates that you have worked with a company for 5 or more years. A landlord will rent to you knowing that you’re likely to remain employed. This is unlike the unstable tenant who seems to switch employers every so often.
Renting an apartment in Florida doesn’t require any special paperwork. Just the typical documents any other landlord in the States will ask for. But before applying for the apartment, have all the paperwork ready. This way, the rental application will be seamless for you!
Hi, I’m Kelvin Nielsen, an experienced landlord and accomplished real estate lawyer. My focus is on answering your questions about renting in the hopes of making your life as a renter or a landlord a bit easier.