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What's your budget?

Know what your budget is before hunting for a rental. Calculate all your monthly expenses out and even give yourself a little wiggle room by saving some money beyond what you'll need every month.

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Connect online with future landlords

If you see an application online, fill it out. Singal that you're serious about applying and be sure to introduce yourself and explain why you'd be a good tenant if it's available in the application.

Be sure to check that the application is secure, as always, before including any personal information.

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Have your info in hand

If you plan to fill out an application in-person, have your paperwork ready. Have proof of your income and job and contact information for your current employer and landlord ready. Compile your rental history and copies of government issued ID.

It also helps to have cash or a check ready for any application or credit check fees.

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Be up front

Nothing ends a rental application process or rental agreement faster than dishonesty. Be up front about your credit score, background check, or rental history. Being honest with a landlord and helping them understand your situation can go a long way.

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Have your credit in order

Have your credit score ready in hand whether filing out an application online or in-person. Simply being aware of your credit score and having already submitted for a credit check gives you a leg up on knowing where you stand and what you need to do to improve your credit.

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References

If you have any letters of recommendation or contact information for references, that could help immensely. Potential landlords may be interested in hearing more about what type of tenant you are, beyond your own description.

It also helps to make copies of any recommendation letters to have ready for multiple landlords. Treat the process like you're applying for a new job.

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Consider a roommate

Don't lock yourself into having a place to yourself. Being open to having a roommate could better your chances, lower the cost you'd have to pay each month, and you get a new friend out of it (hopefully) too.

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Dress the part

Treat applying for a rental or filing out an application in-person like a job interview. Dressing the part as well as having your documentation in order can only better your chances.

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Consider paying in advance

If you can afford it, offer paying rent a couple of months in advnace. This could increase your odds of locking down a place and shows your landlord you have savings and will likely pay on time.

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Check mulitple neighborhoods

Have options available in multiple neighborhoods across San Diego. If you can look in different areas, make sure you're applying everywhere you possibly can. Also know what is reasonable rent in each area. Sometimes, paying more for one area doesn't guarantee the best.

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