1. Have your application pre-filled out. You wouldn't go into a job with out a resume, why go into a house without your qualifications? Better yet, type it all out in nice, readable format.
2. Have your credit reports that have been run within the past 30 days.
3. Get and make copies of letters of recommendation from your former landlords.
4. Have proof of income with reccomendation letters and contact info from your current employer.
Hand all of this to the leasing person when you tour the property (assuming you want it of course).
I know, it is a lot of work, which is why nobody does it! And yes, you will probably still have to go through the leasing company/owners process as well, but this will put you to the top of the stack. I can tell you it would with me and my owners!
I completely agree with Chuck, Jim & Sue.
I would act as if this is job interview!
"We've been turned down on three properties now."
Why? I know it can be hard to get details; however, visit/call the three past Property Management contacts and ask: â€œHow do I make my rental application, and us as Renters, stand out?â€ Any input is good input! If they do respond at least you will generally know where to target your efforts.
Think outside of the box:
Would you prior landlords be willing to post a YouTube video pontificating how you were awesome Tenants along with contact info?
Also, this just might be a case where there are many high-qualified renters and competition is fierce where PMCs can cherry-pick the very best candidates!
If you can find a way to promote yourself as a responsible tenant-- letter of introduction explaining your circumstances, how you handle when something goes wrong with the home, maybe a video of your current home showing how you live (THAT ITS CLEAN) could make the difference.
It's easy to lie, and many prospective tenants do- about not smoking, about not having pets, and lots of other things in order to gain possession of a home. So the more you can do to promote yourself as a responsible tenant will help.
Reduce the risk of exposure to identity theft by blocking out your social security and account numbers on your documents.
If your income(s) are less than 3 x the rent, you should try to ensure the landlord of your ability to pay the rent & utilities on time.
Hope that helps,