Rental applications and leases

Your rental application

When you fill out a rental application, the landlord will likely check your credit report. This is to make sure you can afford the rent and will pay on time. Your credit report shows your record for paying bills and credit cards and paying back loans on time.

What you need

  1. A deposit – can’t be more than 1 month’s rent or the rent for 1 rental period,
  2. Your financial information – work details, savings and loans, and
  3. 2 or more references – from employers, professors or people in respected professions like doctors and lawyers.

Your deposit can only be used as rent for the last period of your stay. It cannot be used to pay for damages that occur while you are renting.

 What your lease covers

  • A lease is a legal agreement between you and your landlord. It shows general information like:
  • names, addresses and contact information
  • rent amount and due date
  • whether utilities are included
  • rental term
  • amount and terms of deposit
  • when the rent can be raised
  • any restrictions like no pets or no smoking.

Understand exactly what you and your landlord are agreeing to. Is it clear what will happen if something goes wrong? Or if you decide to leave?

6 things to check for

  1. Which repairs you must take care of
  2. The notice period you must give – usually 60 days
  3. Rules for subletting
  4. When and how your landlord can enter your place
  5. When your landlord can terminate a lease or evict you
  6. Ways to resolve disputes, for example, over late payments, damages and repairs, eviction notices

If you are leaving home for the first time, consider asking your parents to co-sign your lease.

Key point

  1. With a rental application, you’ll need:
  2. A deposit.
  3. Your financial information.
  4. 2 or more references.


Before you sign, read your lease carefully. Understand exactly what you and your landlord are agreeing to.

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