How to Qualify for an Apartment

As much as we all wish apartment hunting is as simple as taking tours, finding a place that speaks to you, and moving in, there’s one critical step that ultimately determines your next move: the approval process. Whether you’re renting your first apartment or looking for a new one, qualifying can feel overwhelming if you’re unsure what information you need or what to expect. Here’s everything you need to know about qualifying for an apartment in Canada:

Required Information for Your Application

Landlords screen many applicants to decide who will be a reliable tenant and a good fit for their building. While the required information may differ from property to property, generally, be prepared to provide the following details:

  • General information for the application: Landlords typically provide you with a paper or electronic application where you’ll need to fill out details like your contact information, occupation, current living situation, and income.
  • Proof of income: Proof of employment and even employment history are important indicators of how reliable you will be with your payments as a tenant.
  • Credit report: Good credit history proves to landlords that you can pay rent on time.
  • References: You may need references from previous landlords or your current employer to verify that you’d be a good tenant.

What to Expect from the Application Process

The apartment application process can vary between properties, but generally, you’ll receive a form to begin. The landlord will also specify what documentation they require from you.

Fill out this form and gather all your information. After you submit your application, the landlord will review everything and may conduct a background and credit check to assess your candidacy as a tenant. 

This process can take anywhere from a few days to a week or two, depending on how many applicants they screen. If needed, you can follow up to check on the status of your application.

What Happens After You Qualify

Once you qualify for the apartment, it’s almost time to celebrate! Before you get to this, though, you have to sign a lease agreement. This is a legally-binding document that outlines all the terms and conditions of your tenancy, including but not limited to the following:

  • Rent amount
  • Security deposit required
  • Payment due dates
  • Tenant insurance requirements
  • Consequences for breaching the contract
  • Other legal details

Always read this document carefully to ensure you understand your agreement’s terms. If something doesn’t make sense, ask before you sign.

What if You Don’t Qualify?

Rejection of your application could happen for various reasons, including insufficient income, poor credit score, or negative references. If this happens, you can use it as an opportunity to re-evaluate your finances and search for alternative options that are better suited to your income and circumstances.

Ready to Move?

Qualifying for an apartment may require a little preparation and patience — we hope this guide helps you along the way. If you’re still searching for a new place to call home, check out our apartment listings at CLV Group and InterRent REIT!


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