What Do You Need to Rent an Apartment | I Love Moving

What Do You Need to Rent an Apartment Abroad

Posted How-to / November 8, 2022
Georgia Michaelson

Born and raised in St. Louis, Georgia Michaelson is a content writer with a specialty in moving and traveling. Her tips can help you relocate without a fuss

With the real estate market being what it is today, many people advise against buying property and recommend renting. But what if you’re moving internationally? What are the requirements to rent an apartment? What do you need to rent an apartment for the first time when moving abroad?

What Do I Need to Rent an Apartment in NYC?

For starters, before we get into the differences in documentation needed for renting across the world, let’s take a second to take a look at Streeteasy and the renting situation in NYC. A great thing about New York City is that you don’t require much to rent apartments. You can practically just show up and start renting a unit you found on Streeteasy if you have enough money. All jokes aside, any rule that applies to documents needed for a renting application in NYC also applies anywhere in the United States. These are the basic documentation they will ask for an application anywhere, even if you end up shipping overseas and moving abroad:

  • Personal information and documents to prove it,
  • Proof of income and pay stubs,
  • Employment and rental history,
  • Your credit information and bank statements.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent an Apartment in NYC?

Renting laws are different for each and every state. One of the areas they cover is how old you have to be in order to legally sign a lease on apartments. Signing a lease is a binding contract, and it should not be taken lightly. You can legally sign a lease once you become of the age of majority. That means you have become a legal adult, and you have the power to make your own decisions regarding legal issues.

In most places in the US, the age of majority is eighteen years old, with the exception of Nebraska and Alabama, where you have to be nineteen. In some cases, like in New York City, you can sign a lease without a legal guardian cosigning even when you’re sixteen. It’s not common because landlords try to avoid that situation, but it’s possible.

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Have Your Personal Documents Ready

In order to fill out any application anywhere, you will need proof of identification. Most landlords will accept any kind of personal document as long as it’s a legal document that can verify your identification. So, your library card or your gym membership with your photo on it isn’t going to cut it. You will have to bring a digital or a hard copy of one of the following documents:

  • Your ID card
  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Green card if you have one.

Renters Are Required to Show Their Proof of Income

You have to provide landlords with some proof that you can afford to live at their place and pay rent on time every month. A landlord usually tends to avoid tenants that don’t have proof of financial stability since it creates uncertainty later on. They look for tenants whose bank statements can show they have a monthly income that is at least three times the amount of rental costs. Always remember that you should never give landlords original documents, only give out copies.

Know That They Can Also Ask for Pay Stubs and Employment History

Pay stubs are the most common, valid way of revealing information about your income. Landlords want to know you have a steady paycheck coming in every month, so they don’t have to worry. Usually, they will ask for no more than three most recent pay stubs. One is not enough, but any more than three is unnecessary, and you don’t have to provide them.

In some cases, if you don’t have standard monthly paychecks, property owners can ask to see your bank statements, employment history, or bank statements alongside your proof of income. Anything that will give them peace of mind. This isn’t standard practice, and it usually occurs if you’re self-employed, get paid per job or if there is any uncertainty about your monthly income.

Know Your Credit Score

Your credit score could be the thing that either makes or breaks a deal. Property managers will always get the tenant with the best one. So, figure out what your credit score is so you can be upfront and not waste your time visiting open houses on apartments you’re never going to get. It’s not always necessary, but property managers can ask for your social security number if they want to double-check your report. It can also be used as a way to do a background check.

What Credit Score Do You Need to Rent an Apartment?

You always hear people talking about how credit scores are so important, especially when it comes to real estate. So why is it that every now and then, a person with a worse score gets the advantage and signs a lease? How much does your report really matter? The reason why your friend with a lower credit score got a great apartment when you can’t seem to find one is because it’s all up to real estate agents. Some realtors take that number more seriously, others don’t. There are no universal guidelines, but a 500 FICO score or lower is a dealbreaker.

If You Don't Have a Great Credit Score, a Step You Can Take Is to Show Your Rental History

If your credit report isn’t the best one out there, and you know it, you have to show the landlord that you would be the best tenant out there. Show them your rental history. A glowing recommendation letter from your former landlord could go a really long way.

You could even make a renter’s resume as an extra step, just like you would for a job. It might seem silly that you have to make a renter’s resume, but the market is really competitive, and it could help you get ahead and get the lease. Write down your previous addresses and units, include contact information for the references, and write about what you are like as a tenant. Bonus points if you’re not moving with pets.

How Can I Explain a Bad Report?

Bad credit scores are usually a deal breaker, but if there is a valid reason, try to appeal to the nicer side of the landlord and explain. Perhaps your report is bad because you have some debt left from school or medical bills, not because you’re irresponsible with money. Show them you have a debt-repaying plan, and they will understand and keep you in the running.

If you’re having trouble calculating your score, this video could help you.

What Do You Need to Rent an Apartment Abroad – Renting Laws Are Different All Over the World

Moving across the world sounds like a great adventure, but living overseas might not be as easy as you’d think. Some of the best countries for Americans to move to have different and complicated renting laws. That’s why you have to be extra careful when, for example, living in Europe as an American, you could easily find yourself falling for moving scams. So in order to not get hit by culture shock, which doesn’t just include learning a new language, you have to do thorough research. See if you can even qualify for a tenant at your dream destination.

We’ve listed only a few countries just so you can get a feel for the differences. Every place is a world of its own, so do your homework before you hire an overseas moving company. We can’t stress the importance of research enough. Don’t rush into things and call an overseas shipping company to move your car before finding out if you can even drive it if you’re moving to Saudi Arabia.

How to Rent a Unit In Japan

If moving to Japan is on your bucket list, you should be informed about renting laws. First of all, you will go through a background check. Renting in Japan is on a much more serious level than in the US. They don’t like renting to foreigners, so if they decide to do so, they will make sure you’re the right fit ahead of time. Another thing specific to Japanese civil law is the fact that you will have to find someone to guarantee for you. A guarantor is required if you want to sign a lease. This could be difficult to find if you’re moving abroad alone. A guarantor will be provided through work if you’re relocating for a job.

What Documents Do You Need to Rent an Apartment in India?

Contrary to popular belief, you will have no problem renting in India as a foreigner. But if you are planning to move to India, there are certain things you should keep in mind. For starters, don’t let them overcharge you on rent – feel free to haggle. Secondly, you will probably need an aadhar card for a rental application. Aadhar is a twelve-digit identification number issued by the Government of India. Since it’s not proof of citizenship in any way, foreigners can also get it under certain conditions, like the length of their stay.

What Do You Need to Rent In the UK?

If you were planning on moving to UK, you must have a visa. Relocating to the United Kingdom could fall through if you don’t get approved for a visa. In that case, you won’t even be able to visit, let alone live there. That is the only complication that could occur if you ever feel like relocating to London. But if you do get one, you will have to provide your visa and your passport at hand when signing the tenancy agreement.

What Do You Need to Rent In Spain

If your dream has always been to move to Spain, you should have nerves of steel. In order to sign a lease in Spain, you will have to prepare a little bit more than just a copy of your passport. You will have to have a Spanish bank account, no matter if you’re just renting or want to buy. You also might be required to have your NIE number – an exclusive identification number assigned to foreigners staying in Spain.

How to Open a New Bank Account In Spain

The biggest problem with rentals in Spain is that you can’t sign an agreement without an active Spanish bank account. Luckily for you, opening one is easy and takes no time at all. In most banks, you can even do it online and without an NIE number. Do some research on what are the best banks in Spain and open a bank account so you can move efficiently.

Follow the Rules and You’ll Move In no Time

We know you are eager to call the international moving company and get packing service, but there are a lot of questions to ask before renting an apartment. We are here to answer all of them. The most important thing for you to remember if you are planning on moving overseas is that the laws governing renting are different all around the world. You will have no problem renting and living abroad without citizenship, but you might have to prepare a few extra documents.

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