How Long Does Apartment Approval Take? A Complete Guide

Searching for a new apartment in Austin is stressful enough but wondering how long the rental application approval process takes and when you’re gonna get that magical approval email congratulating you on your new place? With some apartments promising instant approvals and others taking a week or more, it’s important to understand typical timelines and the factors that impact your approval speed. This guide covers everything you need to know.

Average Apartment Approval Times

  • Instant approvals – Some use screening tools that provide real-time rental decisions. If you meet all criteria, you could get approved in minutes. You’ll need to ensure you have all the proper documentation to submit with your application including front/back of your ID and paycheck stubs up to 30 or 60 days.
  • 24-48 hours – For straightforward applications that readily meet requirements, most managers provide approvals within 1-2 business days if something comes back that requires additional information. Perhaps it’s a eviction or broken lease on your record or your credit file is thin and you need to provide a copy of your social security card.
  • 3-5 business days – Applications needing extra verification take 3-5 days. More documentation or follow up is required when you don’t submit all of your documentation.
  • 5+ business days – Approval times over 5 days are less common but happen when you may have credit or background issues that typically result in a denial. Hence the importance of using an apartment locator Austin! Usually these longer screening times signals missing details or applications not meeting that apartments specific underwriting criteria.

Key Factors Impacting Apartment Approval Speeds

Several variables determine how quickly your rental application gets approved:

  • Application completeness – Complete applications with all details speed up processing times. Incomplete applications causes delays and will require you to email the leasing agent your missing information. Combined with their busy scheduleing touring and meeting with other clients all day you could imagine how this slows down the process.
  • Income verification process – Pay stubs, tax returns, employment letters must validate incomes stated on applications. Be sure to download and have access to your documents and files so you can easily upload or send them over to the leasing agent. Be prepared so you won’t be surprised!
  • Background check findings – Issues found in credit checks, eviction reports, or criminal searches require further verification and slow approvals which may require you to write a personal letter detailing how and what’s changed in your life and why you should be approved as a tenant in their community.
  • Rental history confirmation – Validating good standing with previous landlords takes more time versus first-time renters. If you can also provide reference letters from business associates or personal letters of recommendation that can help as well.

5 Pro Tips for Faster Apartment Approval

If you need a rental decision within a certain timeframe, here are 5 tips to help expedite the process:

  • Fill out all application sections thoroughly – Don’t leave anything blank requiring follow up questions by the property manager or leasing agent.
  • Attach required identifying documents and income proofs – Paystubs, W2s, ID photocopies speed verification so get your documents ready!
  • Meet or exceed all income and employment requirements – This signals landlords you can pay rent on time. Most communities require 3x the monthly rent. Some only 2.5x and others you don’t need any proof just an additional deposit of 1 month’s rent.
  • Promptly pay any application or screening fees – Fees allow managers to start processing your application. This includes the app/admin and deposit. Don’t be scared about paying these fees upfront. Many communities will refund you the admin fee if your denied but be sure to ask so you’re not surprised. If you’re denied, you will most certainly get your deposit backtypically within 30 days by check.
  • Follow up if you haven’t heard back when expected – Check on status instead of waiting around. Leasing agents are busy people and you literrally need to bug them every day to get things moving. If you don’t want to do it – hire an apartment locator for free! Hint, hint!

The Bottom Line

While possible to get instant approved, most apartment approvals take 24-48 hours if applications are detailed and complete with ID, paystubs and all necessary information. If you have a dog breed restriction be sure to also provide your emotional support letter which will waive any/all requirements the community may have relating to pet rent or deposits. Approvals can extend to 3-5 business days or more when additional verifications are needed with a personal letter most often due to a criminal background or documents submitted in another language besides English.

Let’s Speed up that Approval Process! If You’ve Been Denied an Apartment Call Ross, the Locator Boss to Discuss Your Options at 512-320-4599

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