You enjoy working for yourself, and you may also enjoy living by yourself. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to secure an apartment when you’re self-employed. The right tips can make the process easier.
Choose the Right Landlord
Before taking tours and submitting applications, think about the landlord and apartment complex. You’re likely to encounter the most difficulty with nationally owned companies and sprawling complexes, both of which usually have restrictive corporate leasing regulations. You may have much better luck making your case with private and smaller rental companies.
Don’t Forget the Basics
Of course, you should check credit score, find a place that fits your budget and save up enough for the first month of rent and a security deposit. As an independent contractor, you cannot afford to overlook the basics. If you want landlords to treat you like a standard tenant, you must do what you can to make them see you as one.
Gather the Right Documents
Property owners need the reassurance that all their tenants, self-employed or not, can make rent payments. Show them you can with documents such as deal memos, bank statements from the past few months and tax returns. Basically, use anything that shows income consistency.
Use a Cosigner or Guarantor
Even if you know you’ll pay your rent every month, landlords may have their doubts. Look for a cosigner or guarantor, which is someone who takes over your financial responsibilities if you cannot cover your rent.
Think about financially responsible relatives or friends who have good credit and whom you can trust. Reassure the person that the role is only so you can secure an apartment, not because there’s an actual chance that you’ll miss rent payments.
Be Open and Honest
You likely enjoy being self-employed, so why not be open about it? Don’t shy away from the fact that you’re an independent contractor.
Landlords don’t care about your job, they only care that you pay your rent in full and on time. Be upfront about your occupation and financial situation and let the landlord take it from there. After all, there’s only so much you can do to prove you’re a great tenant.
For securing an apartment, money certainly talks. If a landlord’s on the fence about approving you as a tenant and you like the apartment and neighborhood, consider paying your first month’s rent and security deposit in cash.
Seeing physical money and having plenty of proof of your income could be enough to secure your unit. Just make sure you get a receipt for your payment, as you won’t have a bank statement proving you already paid your deposit and rent.
Perhaps you’ve rented a few apartments as a self-employed tenant. If so, ask your former landlords if you could use them as references, or get a written recommendation from them with their contact info.
You could also write a renter’s resume that breaks down where you’ve lived in the past as an independent contractor, how long you lived there, how much you paid in rent and why you moved out.
Show Why You’re a Great Tenant
Show you’re a great tenant worth any landlord’s time. Maybe you don’t have any pets, are quiet and neat, or don’t have a car, so you don’t need a parking space.
Even if a resident has a traditional job that comes with traditional pay, she or he could be a headache for landlords. Show why you’re not as much of a risk as some property owners may think.
Have a strategy for securing an apartment as a self-employed tenant. The right insights and knowledge could prove vital.