These Items Keep You From Renting an Apartment

Apartment communities have a strict set of criteria for approving renters. Big cities in Texas like Houston and Dallas have hundreds of apartment and thousands of units. The entire approval process must be done on a mass scale. While a private landlord can operate on a case by case basis, it makes no sense for the larger companies to work this way. Sometimes it's easier to discuss what can prevent you from becoming approved, than what gives you the green light.

Fast Denial

There are a few items that will get you denied immediately. If you have any of these, it's better to be honest with the apartment manager upfront. Although there is probably nothing they can do for you, you at least won't waste money on applications and deposits. Consider contacting an apartment finder like Rentkidz if you have any challenges getting approved.

You Owe an Apartment Community Money

Many times a tenant will leave a rental not knowing that they owe money or that simply don't care enough to pay the final fees. If your deposit doesn't cover the cleaning fees or damage the unit incurred while you were there they may place something on you credit report called a judgement. When you apply, the new community management will run your credit report. If they see that there is a judgement from another complex, you will be denied. You can attempt to pay the judgement off, but this may take some time for it to be reflected on your credit report. Always leave a forwarding address with the previous manager so all documentation can be sent to you.
Many renters are well aware that they owe money, they just don't realize how it will affect them in the future. Another way you owe an apartment money is by breaking your lease. A broken lease will virtually prevent you from leasing at any community in the future, unless the new one will consider working with you. Usually these properties are old and don't have the best management teams in place. Also they normally require a heavy deposit upfront. They must protect themselves in case you break the lease again. They will be left having to recondition the unit for the next renter plus the cost of not having the unit occupied.

No Income Your Income is Lacking

Ever notice that you have to put your income on the application. Many properties today require that you make at least 3.5 times the monthly rent in order for approval. After taxes are removed from your paycheck and other essentials, this usually goes towards the rent. When landlords start taking chances by accepting tenants that make 2.5-3 times the monthly rent, they are increasing the likelihood that the renter won't be able to pay ontime monthly payments. If you don't have any income then you have zero shot for approval. The only way you can get approved is to show your bank account. If you have enough money in your savings or checking account, then you won't need to show any income.

You Declared Bankruptcy

Usually a bankruptcy will kill your credit score. It's not unheard of to find properties that will lease to you, but it certainly is a challenge. Many properties use a credit score to evaluate the tenant. Sometimes it's just one factor. Credit reports are now being used in a variety of ways. From potential employment and other various uses, a credit score is becoming increasing more important in our daily lives.

Criminal Background

Although not a law, many property owners prefer not to rent to people with either felonies or misdemeanors. It's probably a similar reason why employers choose applicants with no criminal history. Again, this is a situation that is very similar to owing a property money. It's best to speak with the property manager or leasing agent about their policy. Usually they are very strict and don't have any wiggle room. Again there are properties that will accept felons and such. But they aren't as prevalent and are usually not as modern or nice as many of the newer apartments are.

Lots of Debts

Apartment management and landlords are on the lookout for renters who may have trouble paying debts. We have seen some renters get rejected for having an outstanding cell phone bills. Even though the income may be sufficient, the more debts a renter has, the harder it maybe to pay off the rent. If you have a lot of debt, don't be surprised with an apartment rejection.


Many properties simply don't allow pets. Be sure that you notify the apartment manager or landlord that you have a pet that will be living with you. Large dogs are known to scratch wood floors, wear our rugs, and cause abnormally fast wear and tear in homes. However, there are plenty of rentals that will allow your pet. Many of the larger apartment communities are pet friendly. They even have dog parks on-site too. Look for these pet apartment amenities in a community near you.


American Apt Owners Association