If you’re looking to rent, filling out a rental application is an essential part of the process.

So, what determines if you qualify? Read more to stay ahead of the curve and in the know of the most common and unexpected reasons your rental application can be denied.

Inadequate and unverified income

A rental application not only allows you to express interest in the property, but it also provides the property manager with important information needed to determine if you’re qualified to rent the unit.

The most common reason an application gets rejected is because of a person’s income.

Typically, property managers want your income to be at least three times your monthly rent to ensure you can afford it.

But you must prove it. This can be in the form of pay stubs, an employer’s letter, or direct deposits. If you can’t show proof of income, your application may be rejected.

Poor credit

Blemishes on your record or past transgressions could hurt your chances of being able to score your dream rental.

Many properties have a minimum credit score that renters must have if they want to rent a home there.

Not paying your bills on time or having significant debt can lower your credit score. This can make you an undesirable renter.

Bad references

The application will likely have a section for references. This can be a past landlord, employer, or any unbiased person who can speak to how trustworthy and responsible you are.

If your property manager calls a few references and discovers you were constantly paying rent late, your application may be denied.


This one is obvious but worth noting. Having a prior eviction on your record can make it more difficult to get a rental.

If you previously failed to pay rent and were evicted, landlords might assume you’re not a reliable renter.

Too many people in one house

Each state has its own laws on how many people can live in a house. So, if you’re applying for a one-bedroom apartment with a large family, that could be a roadblock.

If renting is on your radar and you’ve found that perfect place, it’s time to submit a rental application.

Consult with a property manager to determine if you meet the criteria and what you can do to get there.