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How to Create A Renter Resume

There’s no doubt that renters are facing tight rental markets.


This means that rental properties are becoming harder to find, even for the most qualified renters with good credit and stable income. With demand so high, what can renters do to stand out among other applicants? How can you land that dream apartment that you’ve had your eye on?


To set yourself apart from other applicants it’s not enough to simply have a good credit score and rental history--though that’s certainly important! Since applying for the perfect rental can be as competitive as applying for your dream job, approach the application process with the same level of professionalism and consider submitting a renter resume.


Why A Renter Resume?

A renter resume is the perfect starting point to begin the rental process. Landlords and property managers will likely always complete a thorough tenant screening process, which will often include things like a credit and background check. However, if your score and rental history are close to your competing applicants, providing your future manager with a renter resume, complete with additional details, can be the thing that tips the scale in your direction.


What to Not to Include in A Renter Resume:

Before you begin to include pertinent information on your renter resume, you should know what you legally do not need to include. Since it is illegal for landlords to discriminate against certain criteria under the Fair Housing Act, applicants don’t need to disclose private information pertaining to race, religion, disability, sex and familial status on rental resumes.


Remember, rental applicants do not need to include familial information, like the specific ages of minors who will be living in the rental. That said, it is appropriate for the landlord to know how many people under the age of 18 will be living in the unit, and a landlord can reasonably ask for anyone over the age of 18 to be included on the lease agreement.


What to Information You Should Include on Your Renter Resume:


Name and Contact Information:

This category may be obvious, but don’t forget it! You want to wow the landlord or manager AND provide an easy way for them to contact you.



Just like a standard employment resume, include 2-3 sentences at the top stating your goals with regard to a rental search. This should briefly include any relevant long-term goals, what you’re looking for in a rental, and why you are a quality tenant.


For Example:

“I am looking to relocate from XYZ city and searching for a modest apartment with available amenities, including an on-property gym. As a working student, I am looking for a low-maintenance place with a friendly resident community. I am a responsible tenant, looking for long-term housing as I complete my master’s degree.”


Tenant Background:

This section allows you to let your potential landlord know more about yourself. This can include current employment, education and inform the manager if you plan to have pets or roommates. [If you do have a pet, consider creating a pet resume to show that your furry friend will be a model tenant.] If you’re so inclined, you can also share a little bit about your personal hobbies and interests. This simply allows your future landlord or manager to get to know you in a more personal manner, and envision what kind of renter you will be.


For Example:

“I was born and raised in Southern Oregon, and have lived in the Portland metro area for the last 4 years. While completing my BA in Literature, I worked part-time at a Barnes and Noble bookstore for the last 2.5 years. I am currently set to transfer to the Barnes and Noble bookstore in XYZ city as I complete the library science master's program. I spend the majority of my time working or studying, but any free time is usually spent enjoying the outdoors through biking and photography. I do not currently have pets, but am open to acquiring a small cat in a pet-friendly rental. I have never been evicted, arrested or convicted of a crime for any reason. I have rented two other apartments in the past, and am happy to provide both landlord’s contact information or a letter of reference.”



This section is as straightforward as it sounds; landlords and managers need to know your income as well as your work stability. Showing your employment history demonstrates your responsibility and your ability to make long-term commitments. Don’t forget to include employer contact information; prospective landlords will want to verify employment.


Rental History:

This is an important category that can set you apart from other prospective renters. Including information about your rental history and respective tenant behavior is vital. Simply include bulleted information about your past rentals’ addresses, your former landlord or property managers and their names (and contact info), as well as the duration of time you lived in each unit. It can also be a good idea to state why you moved (ex: looking to move into a house from an apartment, job relocation).



In the same way that a future boss may look at your personal and professional references to get an idea of your work behavior, landlords and managers can use references to determine if you may be a good tenant. You can supply a letter of recommendation alongside your resume, but you may also provide contact information for any references within the resume itself. Be sure to include all pertinent information like the reference’s name, relation to you, their phone number and their email address.


Additional Documents Available Upon Request:

Particularly in a hot rental market, landlords and managers choosing between a few select applicants may want to see letters of recommendation, pay stubs and proof of financial reserves or another supporting document. Expressing that you’re ready and willing to provide this information to a landlord or manager who asks for it, shows that you are prepared and have nothing to hide as a renter.


How Your Renter Resume Should Look:

While a detailed explanation of what to include on your renter resume is helpful, if you’re hoping for a better visual aide, check out this sample rental resume template from Rentec Direct. Remember, just like with an employment resume, forgo fancy fonts and exploding colors. A conscience-but-comprehensive look at your rental qualifications is all that a property manager is hoping to see.


Final Thoughts:

Providing a renter resume is an excellent way to express professionalism within the rental process and allows a prospective landlord or property manager to get to know you more personally. While a rental resume doesn’t guarantee you will be approved for a rental, it does, however, ensure that you will stand out from other applicants.


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