Apartment applications have fees associated with them to cover the costs to the landlord for pulling your credit report and processing your application. These fees are usually $25 to $35 per person, but the landlord can set them to whatever they want. You also may have to put down a deposit when you submit an application, according to the Austin Tenant's Council. For these reasons, you should be certain that you want to live in an apartment and that you qualify for it before turning in an application.
Many applications specify that a tenant loses their deposit if they do not accept the apartment after they have submitted an application. Most of the time there isn't a grace period for backing out once the agreement is signed. If the landlord tells you that you can get your deposit back if you cancel after signing, be sure that is written in the application agreement.
Never apply for an apartment unless you have seen the actual unit you are applying for. Models look the absolute best an apartment could ever look in the complex because no one lives in it and it's set up to entice you. When you sign the application, check to be sure that all information about the specific apartment you are applying for is listed. The application should state: the unit number, security deposit amount, rent amount, move-in date and length of the lease term, names of all residents in the unit, including children, pets and pet deposit amount, utilities landlord pays for if applicable, written agreements to any promises made by the landlord such as cleaning the carpet or painting the apartment before move-in, and any other information necessary.
The application should also declare the amount of time application processing will take. Texas law states that if the landlord doesn't contact the prospective tenant within a week, the application is the same as rejected. Notice can be by telephone or mail to the applicant, co-applicant, or a person living with the applicant or co-applicant. If the landlord rejects your application, the deposit must be returned immediately.
Not sure whether you're qualified for an apartment or how to fill out an application? Apartment Experts South can help! Give us a call at 512-416-8100.