1. Investigate apartments online.
In recent years, a number of online apartment rating services have flourished, making it easier for prospective tenants to learn a lot about a housing unit prior to even seeing it in person. So before you hit the pavement to go apartment hunting, use a service like ApartmentRatings.com or ApartmentSearch.com to discover everything from how much the rental units cost each month to whether an apartment accepts pets.
Some sites also show comments posted by others about the apartments – including viewpoints on how safe the neighborhood is or how responsive management is to fixing problems. After a bit of online sleuthing, you should be able to weed out higher-priced places you know you can't afford. There's no sense in going from one costly housing situation to the next.
2. Offer a higher deposit.
Some landlords may take you more seriously if you offer a higher-than-requested deposit. Do what you can to prove that you have funds available to pay your rent on time, and the foreclosure on your credit history may not hurt you as much.
Since it's taking much longer now for banks to repossess homes, perhaps you have the option of what's known as squatter's rent available. If so, giving the landlord a higher deposit means the landlord can adequately cover any losses, if you end up breaking your lease agreement. Give your landlord some peace of mind, and you may find it much easier to secure the rental property you want.
Read the full story at WalletPop.
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