Apartments for Rent

Apartments for Rent

Finding Available Rental Options

For Americans who are looking for cheap or low-income housing, finding apartments that you can rent out monthly can be much more cost-efficient than looking to the housing market. The U.S. government has created a number of helpful resources for you to use if you are interested in finding the right apartment to fit your budget. This article will discuss low-income rental options, eligibility requirements and how you can qualify for an apartment near you.

Benefits of Renting an Apartment

Instead of spending a lot of money by getting a mortgage on a house, renting an apartment is a much cheaper option. It is also a much smaller commitment – while homeowners in America may feel tied down to their property, renting an apartment can be a temporary (or permanent) situation. Having the choice to rent an apartment at an affordable monthly rate, instead of owning a home, can help many U.S. residents find financial stability.

Basic Apartment Rental Options

There are many different ways to go about renting an apartment in your area. While there are hundreds of private companies that offer apartment assistance, there are also government-sanctioned organizations and agencies like the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that focus mostly on providing resources and financial aid to low-income families. This article will focus mostly on aid programs such as Section 8 that help low-income families find comfortable options for housing.

Eligibility Requirements for Renting an Apartment

While there are often individual requirements that certain apartment complexes will look for in an applicant, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind before you apply. First, providing an outline of your past rental history with names and phone numbers of past landlords is a good idea. This helps the renter of your potentially new apartment by giving them an idea of how they should expect you to behave as a tenant. Some warning signs that they may look for include switching between many different apartment complexes in a short period of time, or negative impressions from past landlords.

You should also provide proof of your monthly income, and accept they will want to run a credit check on you. If you do not require financial assistance with your rent, your tax returns or income stubs should show that you have the capability of paying your monthly rent in full. If you are a low-income family or a Medicaid recipient, you must provide the necessary documentation to show that you will be receiving assistance with your rent. More information about low-income and Medicaid-assisted housing is detailed below.

Credit checks are a way of determining your reliability in paying your monthly bills, by assigning individuals a number that reflects this reliability. This number, or “credit score”, is very valuable to landlords because it further helps them understand how you will act as a tenant of their apartment complex. In the event that your credit score is too low, you may be required to pay an additional security fee and/or provide additional documentation proving your reliability. These cost of these credit checks, if there is one, may also fall on you as the applicant.

Finally, you must provide a list of reliable references, and pay a security deposit, or a set amount of money (which usually equates to one month’s rent) that covers the landlord in case of any problems regarding your stay in their apartment complex. Your references should be from employers, past landlords, or any highly respected acquaintances that can vouch for your character. Your potential landlord may ask for other pieces of documentation as well, but these are the most common things to prepare ahead of time in order to rent an apartment easily.

Low-income Recipient Apartments

If you require financial assistance in paying for your rent (or if you are a Medicaid recipient), there are a number of additional options available to you. The HUD has designated public housing programs that provide assistance with finding and helping to pay for acceptable housing and apartments for low-income individuals and families who qualify. For eligibility to receive this assistance, you and your family must be U.S. citizens, eligible immigrants, fall under the proper designated category (elderly, disabled, family etc.), and must not exceed the income limits that are set for your city in order to be deemed “low-income.” Your housing agency will be able to determine this number for you, or you can find more information on the HUD government website.

To apply for HUD assistance, you must meet with your Housing Agency and fill out an application, which includes information such as:

  • Names of everyone who will be living in your apartment, as well as birth certificates, tax returns, and potentially other identifying documents
  • Your current address and phone number
  • Contact information for all of your previous landlords
  • Information about family income (including an estimate of your next twelve months of income and the sources of it)
  • Certain characteristics (veterans in the family, poor current living conditions) that might speed up your application
  • Names and addresses of employers, banks and other entities that can help the Housing Agency to confirm the information above
  • Acknowledgement that the Housing Agency may wish to come to you current residence to check your current living conditions

With this information, your housing agency will be able to help you apply for a low-income apartment through the public housing program.

The reduced rent that is associated with the public housing program is calculated by looking at your monthly-adjusted income, welfare rent, and/or a set amount that is determined by your housing agency. Your housing agency is effectively your landlord in these circumstances, and is responsible for collecting your reduced rent, re-examining your qualifications each year, maintaining the development, evictions and other duties that might typically fall onto a landlord.

But regardless of whether or not you are interested in renting a normal or low-income apartment, it is crucial that you are aware of your background, and how it might impact your ability to rent effectively. Following the directions above will help to ensure that you are able to receive and maintain a rental apartment, no matter your financial situation.

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