The San Francisco Apartment Rental Application Process

Congrats, you’re moving to San Francisco! You’re about to live in one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. Like Oscar Wilde once said: “It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco. It must be a delightful city and possess all the attractions of the next world.” We can 100 percent agree with Oscar’s sentiment. The city is so lively, so full of culture and nature, it’s easy to get lost in this beautiful bubble. Unfortunately, that’s why it’s become quite expensive to live here though. The housing market is notoriously known to be difficult when it comes to apartment hunting in San Francisco. We’ve already discussed tips on how to secure an apartment in San Francisco, but now we’re going to discuss the actual rental application process. Here’s what you need to know in order to be prepared:

Have Your Resume Ready

The San Francisco application process asks for you to provide information about your employment history. An easy way to be super transparent about this is by bringing your resume and directly attaching it to the application. Some landlords will want to speak to your manager to verify job security.

Provide a Credit Report

A San Francisco rental application always requires a credit report, too. While some will offer to do it for you, it’s best to default on the side that they won’t. You should be prepared to show your own report which means you have to get it done before applying. Experian and Free Credit Report are helpful resources to accomplish this.

Tenant References

Have you had roommates before? Your potential landlord may want to speak to them. Sometimes, potential landlords ask to speak with your previous landlords, too. Make sure you have their contact information readily available, and give them a friendly heads up that they may receive a call.

Personal References

In addition to speaking with your previous landlords and/or roommates, a potential landlord may want to speak with a personal reference. This can be a friend, family member, or coworker.

Personal Statement

We know what you’re thinking: “Is this a college application?” It can definitely feel like it! It’s true though, many applications require you to fill out a personal statement to tell your potential landlord a little more about yourself. This is your chance to highlight your hobbies, cleanliness habits, and what makes you ultimately stand out from the other potential tenants. Good luck out there!