Self-employment can make your life easier in a lot of ways, but it can invite some challenges. One of those is renting an apartment. Some landlords are not comfortable renting to people who are self-employed. If you are in the market for an apartment and are self-employed, here are some tips to improve the odds of getting one.
Consider Privately Owned or Small Properties
Corporate-owned apartment complexes usually have strict guidelines that are difficult to crack. One of those is having verifiable income that is consistent. Since you are self-employed, you would have to verify your own income and the corporation might not consider that acceptable. There is also the added problem that your income likely fluctuates.
You can overcome those challenges by targeting apartment complexes that are either privately owned. Smaller complexes are also ideal. The property manager will have more room to relax some of the guidelines and will likely be more accepting of your self-employment status.
Know the Ins and Outs of Your Money
The property manager of any apartment complex you are applying to will need to verify your income. Since you are providing the verification, you need to be specific about how much money you earn monthly and how much of it is being used towards expenses, including your business expenses.
You need to be able to demonstrate to the property manager that you have income consistent enough to meet your financial obligations for the apartment. If he or she believes you to be responsible with your finances, the property manager will be more likely to approve your rental application.
Use a Co-Signer
If property managers are still expressing concern about renting to you based on your self-employment status, consider asking a friend or relative to co-sign for the apartment. The co-signer will likely need to meet the same requirements that you do to receive approval. For instance, the property manager will check the co-signer's credit and income, too.
It is important to note that if you are unable to make payments, the manager can seek payment from the co-signer. Review your finances and projected income to make sure you can meet your obligation and avoid putting your co-signer in a bind.
Working with a real estate agent will increase the chances that you are able to get an apartment. The agent will be aware of apartment complexes that are friendly towards self-employed professionals and can limit your search to those properties.