You found an apartment and you are ready to commit. The next step is figuring out how to sell yourself for an apartment interview to win over your prospective landlord. Get yourself ready to smile graciously and conduct yourself like the model tenant that anyone would love to have rent an apartment. The right touch of confidence and friendliness should be a winning combination.
Obtain copies of your credit report from the three main credit-reporting bureaus. Visit the Annual Credit Report website to request free copies of your credit reports — they are available once every 12 months. Take these credit reports with you to your interview, if possible, to present yourself as a well-prepared prospective tenant.
Dress tastefully, avoiding any strange or unusual extremes. Fix your hair in a conservative style – nothing too bizarre or weird. Avoid presenting yourself as anything but average to appeal to most prospective landlords.
Complete your rental application and bring it with you to your interview unless you’ve already submitted it to the landlord. Refresh your memory of all the information you supplied in your rental application before your interview. For the most positive impression, answer questions completely without needing to consult notes.
Arrive about 10 minutes early to your interview appointment. Shake hands firmly with the prospective landlord or management company representative. Make eye contact, smile genuinely and make light small talk as appropriate before the interview begins.
Answer questions completely and confidently. Stay neutral and unflappable as you answer questions in a friendly and truthful manner.
Avoid asking too many questions and don’t volunteer any information beyond the questions that the landlord asks of you. Questions about apartment availability, deposit fees, lease renewals, utilities included in the rent and nearby amenities such as grocery stores or restaurants are suitable questions for you to ask. Questions about painting, noise violations, subletting and pets may give the landlord pause, wondering whether you might be a difficult tenant.
Shake hands at the end of the interview and ask when the landlord expects to make a decision. It’s common for landlords to take time after an interview to check references, so don’t expect an immediate decision.
Follow up the interview within 24 to 48 hours by calling the landlord. Express your gratitude for the interview and ask the landlord whether he has made a decision.
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