We're showing our apartment to potential renters today. Based on what I've experienced over the last couple of years of renting out property, here are some tips on how to not disqualify yourself right off the bat:
1. Call between the hours of 9am and 9pm.
2. Be sober when you make that call.
3. Chances are, you'll be leaving a message. Speak clearly! Enunciation is your friend. How likely do you think I'll be to call you back if I have to guess half your phone number?
4. Make sure you leave a number that's IN SERVICE.
5. Don't call about a two-bedroom apartment when you have a husband and three kids and are pregnant. It will not work for you.
6. When you show up to look at the apartment, be sober (or at least try not to smell like last night's liquor).
7. Please don't tell me a story as long as my arm about your credit and why it's bad and it's not your fault. All you'll teach me about you is that you're irresponsible and don't stand up for your mistakes.
BONUS: Tips for people who have successfully rented an apartment:
8. When you ask for permission to paint a room, and I tell you to go ahead, don't ask me to pay for the paint.
9. If you rent the apartment, and the person you work from home for pays a portion of the rent, and your boyfriend pays a portion of the rent (leaving me with three checks from you each month), don't expect me to write you a receipt that looks as though you're the only one paying "for tax reasons."
BONUS BONUS: Tips for people who are vacating an apartment:
10. Don't be surprised never to see your deposit again when you leave buggers on the wall, ants killed with windex TAPED OVER with masking tape on the closet shelves and mold on the window sills. Or if you ruined the brandnew wood floors by dragging major appliances around. Or if there's a fist-sized hole in the closet door.