Qualifying For Apartments


To be approved for any potential apartment that you might be interested in, you and anyone you’re applying with needs to meet the landlord’s minimum requirements. The exact requirements vary per landlord; however, there are a few standards (general rule of thumb) that most like the see.

Verifiable Income

The required income is roughly 40 times the monthly rent in verifiable income. For example, if an apartment is $2,000 per month, you would need to make $80,000 a year of more in order to qualify. If you do not qualify, you may have a guarantor/co-singer that makes 80 times the monthly rent in yearly verifiable income. In the last example, that would be $160,000.

Also note that that the tenant or guarantor may also use any other lawful source of income.


The strength of your credit score and information contained on your credit report will have an impact on your application. It’s advisable to check your credit before your search to look for anything that may pop-up. Landlords don’t tell agents what their exact credit and approval guidelines are, but they give agents a ballpark range.

Your agent may ask you if you if you know your exact credit score and what is on your report. Do not feel that they are being intrusive; the agent is merely trying to see what landlords are best to take you to.

Also, it’s important to for everyone who is applying to know their credit history as well, including guarantors. One person can affect the decision for everyone.

Tenant Screening

If you are anyone you are applying with has had a bankruptcy, criminal record or housing court, please disclose this to your agent. They will be able to inform the landlord upfront when presenting your application.

Bankruptcy and housing court can impact the landlord’s decision.

*As of 4th April, 2016 criminal background became a protected class. Prior to this date, landlords could essentially decline a prospective tenant for having a criminal background. However, a landlord can no longer say that all applications with criminal records are not suitable tenants.

Taking that stance is now discriminatory, where it was not before. It will depend on the severity of the crime and how recent it was. Blanket prohibitions are a violation, case by case may be permitted but the landlord will have to defend his or her position if a claim is brought.