Competition for Ocean City and Ocean Pines rental properties is fierce, thanks to high demand and a shortage of units. Here are some tips to help keep you on track as you go through the process of renting a home.
1. Watch Your Credit
Get a copy of your credit report before you start your search so you can identify errors and overlooked past-due accounts while you still have time to fix them. You can get a free credit report one time each year from AnnualCreditReport.com.
2. Time Your Search
Knowing when to begin house-hunting can be a little tricky. If you start too soon, you may have to either pass on a house you really want or start the new lease before your old one ends. On the other hand, you need time to tour homes and go through the tenant screening process. Give yourself about 60 days before your target move-in date.
3. Set a Realistic Budget
Affordability is the most important factor in tenant screening. Generally speaking, affordable rent payment is one that falls within 30 percent of your gross income. However, additional, significant financial obligations might make 30 percent a stretch. Alternatively, if you have no debt and significant savings, it’s possible that you’ll qualify for a rent that’s slightly higher than 30 percent of your gross earnings, especially if you’re willing to pay more upfront.
4. Submit a Complete Application
One of the most common causes of application-processing delays is missing information. Each person who’ll be on the lease needs to apply, and each of your applications must have everything the application asks for — personal information, employment verification, rental references and supporting employment and financial documentation, as well as the application fee. It may also help to tell your employer and rental references to expect a call because their cooperation expedites the process.
5. Make Special Requests Before You Sign the Lease
Once the lease has been signed, it can’t be changed unless the tenant and the landlord both agree. Therefore, it’s imperative that you not wait until you move in to make special requests such as cosmetic repairs or use of areas of the home or property that aren’t included in the lease.