Credit is the best credential
Your credit history is a big reveal that can usually seal the deal. Here’s a quick number crunch.
- Excellent credit — 750 and above
- Good credit — 700 to 749
- Fair credit — 650 to 699
- Poor credit — 600 to 649
- Bad credit — anything below 600
- You-might-be-dead credit — somewhere around -75 (Okay, we made this one up)
If yours is lower than you’d like, try these 11 ways to improve your credit score.
Be awesome online
According to Olsen, references are less important than one might think. For the most part, landlords are looking to fill vacancies as quickly as possible rather than spend hours making phone calls and sending out emails. “The one reference we always check is Facebook and Google,” he adds. “References from your most recent landlords are rarely considered. If you’re a bad tenant, your old landlord would say anything to get you out.”
It’s on you to report grievances
Olsen admits that landlords are never going to be proactive when it comes to damage within your domicile. If there’s an issue, you have to make it known immediately and, if necessary, repeatedly. “For the sake of time, I avoid asking tenants probing questions like ‘how’s the stove working?’ or ‘do you hear a funny sound when you flush the toilet?'” adds Olsen. “You’ve got to come to me with that.” These are the things you should take pictures of as soon as you move into a new apartment.