Get ready for what could be a cold-blooded selection and approval process if you're hoping to rent a luxury apartment. Landlords of luxury apartments can't afford to make bad choices when it comes to tenants, which means they don't want to have any doubt about your ability to pay rent on time for the duration of the lease. Top-tier apartment buildings usually have standard procedures for renting units, and doing credit checks on prospective tenants is at the top of the list.
Bankers and credit card companies aren't the only ones interested in your credit report. Landlords of luxury apartment buildings use consumer credit reports for the very same reasons, which is to look at the track record a person has established for paying their bills on time. Luxury apartment building managers typically pull an applicant's credit report as a matter of procedure. Leasing agents also verify the applicant's income by requiring pay stubs with the application. Some agents even call the applicant's job to verify employment.
Management companies for luxury apartments have some flexibility in working with people with bad credit. Sometimes a prospective tenant can turn a "no" into a "yes" by offering to pay a higher security deposit or asking for a trial 3-month or 6-month lease at the higher short-term lease rate. If the occupancy rate in the building is lower than usual, that could also sway a landlord to make an exception for an applicant with poor credit.
Sometimes getting a co-signer can make the difference between getting accepted or not at a luxury apartment building. The co-signer must have excellent credit, though, because she is vouching to cover rent payments for someone who doesn't have a good credit record. Landlords often go along with this arrangement, because someone with a clean credit record will likely keep his agreement to pay the rent in order to maintain that record.
Avoid a "Hard Inquiry"
If the luxury apartment building you're trying to move into does require credit checks, you should ask the managers if they'll allow you to provide the credit report in order to avoid a hard inquiry. A hard inquiry is when someone other than yourself asks for a copy of your credit report. Too many apartment managers making hard inquiries for your credit report could actually lower your credit score and make matters worse. If the leasing agent allows you to provide your own credit report, you could also include a letter of recommendation from a previous landlord.
Tim Grant has been a journalist since 1989 and has worked for several daily newspapers, including the Charleston "Post & Courier," the "Savannah News-Press," the "Spartanburg Herald-Journal," the "St. Petersburg Times" and the "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette." He has covered a variety of subjects and beats, including crime, government, education, religion and business. He graduated from The Citadel with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.