Are we unqualified?
July 18, 2012 5:31 PM Subscribe
Apartment-hunting: are we doing something wrong?
posted by sucre to work & money (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hi. My boyfriend (of about 10 years) and I are apartment-searching in a moderately large Midwestern city. We just got turned down for an awesome apartment, which is worrying me, but it was apparently because 2 other prospective tenants applied at the same time. We were told that there was nothing wrong with our applications, but you see, I'm a worrier.
Background: I'm 27, he's 30. I'm a teacher in a public school. He's currently unemployed, but has savings (some from an inheritance) which is plenty to cover rent. He wrote a short note with the application explaining that despite his unemployment, he would be able to cover the full year of rent for both of us, up front, if the landlords were worried about unemployment (listing his income as "savings and investments"). My salary as a teacher would also allow me to do this, although we didn't make note of that because it didn't seem relevant. The point is, we have enough money to cover rent and wanted to make that clear to the landlords.
Our credit is fine, I think, and no problems with previous landlords. Boyfriend has lived at home for the last 4 years to take care of a dying mother and spend time with his father, so his previous landlord info is from 2008. He currently volunteers and is working on artistic and musical projects but is suffering from anxiety and depression (his maternal grandma just passed away, which is one factor), another reason he's been living at home. Obviously we didn't list those things on the application, except listing volunteer experience. As much as I want to put our personal stories on there, they're probably not relevant.
Would the offer to pay up front be a red flag to landlords? Or the boyfriend's current situation? I'm guessing that the applicant who got the place is older, or more professional, has a higher salary, is wanting to stay in the area for a long time, or some other reason that makes sense. The owner (the apartment is owned by a couple, not a big company) said in a voicemail, "We chose someone who is, uh, better to rent to" after telling me that there were no problems with the applications. She seemed to not know exactly how to phrase it.
This is the first place we've applied for and now I'm all anxious that we aren't qualified tenants even though we totally are.