Application...Denied

by Andrea West


Posted on 2017-07-10 12:58:17


It’s summer, the time of year when the sun seems to make people feel stir crazy, so they don’t renew their lease and find somewhere else to live. Unit turnover is highest during the summer and so is the busiest time of year for property managers.

As a resident, Marsha decides to get a new apartment as well, somewhere closer to work and also close to several bike trails. She and her friend Jordan go hunting for apartments, fill out three tenant application forms, but cross their fingers that they get this one awesome unit that fits all their criteria.

A couple of days later, Marsha receives an email that her application for tenancy has been denied. How? Why? Marsha can’t think of why they wouldn’t have gotten the apartment since her credit score is good, as is her personal record. Is it Jordan? Is there something else?

Rental applications get denied all the time. Here’s a list of reasons this may happen-

  • Another applicant applied before you and they were accepted
  • You own three cats and the landlord doesn’t allow pets
  • Bad credit score
  • Identity theft
  • Too much debt and/or open credit lines
  • The rent amount is too high for your income level
  • A co-signer is required and you didn’t provide one
  • The number of residents moving in is higher than legally allowed for the unit
  • All the required information on the application wasn’t filled out
  • Social Security Number didn’t match
  • Past evictions
  • You didn’t present yourself well and/or your car was dirty
  • Plus more, as it’s impossible to have a full, comprehensive list

 There are a lot of factors that property managers have to take into account when accepting new residents. You have criteria for what you want in an apartment and they have criteria they want their residents to meet as well. If your application for rental is denied, the property manager should send you a notification of denial - in Marsha’s case she received an email. If you don’t understand why you were denied, you do have the right to ask them the reason behind their decision. Most commonly, you will be denied because of income, not being the first to apply, or a background check and screening that didn’t pass.

Under Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, there is a list of reasons that property managers cannot use to deny your application. Rental applicants cannot be discriminated for-

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Handicap
  • Family status
  • National origin
  • Source of income
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identification

In this case, Jordan didn’t make as much money as she’d told Marsha, which put the apartment out of their price range. They did find another apartment that they liked and their application there was accepted.


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