Rental Applications: What to Expect in Texas

Renting an apartment is an exciting step towards independence and creating a space to call your own. However, before you can unpack your belongings and settle in, you’ll need to navigate the rental application process. In the diverse state of Texas, rental application requirements can vary from one landlord or property management company to another. To help you prepare for the journey ahead, let’s delve into what to expect when filling out rental applications in Texas.

1. Application Fees

When applying for a rental property in Texas, it’s common to encounter an application fee. This fee covers the cost of processing your application, including background checks, credit checks, and administrative tasks. Application fees can vary, so it’s advisable to inquire about the amount before submitting your application. Keep in mind that these fees are generally non-refundable, even if your application is not approved.

2. Proof of Income

Landlords want to ensure that tenants can comfortably afford the rent. As a result, you’ll likely need to provide proof of income as part of your application. This can include recent pay stubs, employment verification letters, or tax returns. Landlords typically require your monthly income to be a certain multiple of the monthly rent, ensuring that you have the financial means to cover your rental expenses.

3. Credit Check

A credit check is a standard part of the rental application process. Landlords use your credit history to assess your financial responsibility and determine whether you’re a reliable tenant. It’s a good idea to check your credit report beforehand to address any potential issues. While a lower credit score may not automatically disqualify you, it could influence the terms of your lease or require a larger security deposit.

4. Rental History

Landlords may ask for references from previous landlords to verify your rental history. This helps them gauge your behavior as a tenant, such as your payment history and how well you maintained the property. If you’re a first-time renter or don’t have a rental history, providing personal references who can vouch for your character and responsibility might be acceptable.

5. Background Checks

Landlords conduct background checks to ensure the safety and well-being of their property and other tenants. This may include searching for criminal records or prior evictions. While a criminal record doesn’t necessarily lead to rejection, landlords may consider the nature of the offense and the time that has passed since it occurred.

6. Pet Policies

If you have furry companions, make sure to inquire about the property’s pet policies before submitting your application. Some properties have restrictions on pet breeds, sizes, or the number of pets allowed. Additionally, you might need to pay a pet deposit or monthly pet rent. Be prepared to provide information about your pets as part of the application process.

7. Co-Signers or Guarantors

If you’re a student, young professional, or someone with limited credit history, landlords may require a co-signer or guarantor. This person is usually someone with a stable financial background who agrees to take responsibility for the rent if you’re unable to pay. Co-signers typically go through a similar application process, including credit and income checks.

8. Application Forms and Documentation

Most landlords or property management companies will provide you with an application form to complete. This form will ask for personal information, including your contact details, employment history, and rental history. Be prepared to provide accurate and up-to-date information, as discrepancies could raise red flags during the screening process.

9. Reviewing the Lease Agreement

Once your application is approved, you’ll be presented with a lease agreement outlining the terms and conditions of your tenancy. Take the time to read the lease carefully and ask any questions you may have before signing. Lease agreements can vary, so it’s crucial to understand the rental terms, responsibilities, and policies.

10. Timeframe and Communication

The rental application process in Texas can take a few days to a week or more, depending on various factors. During this time, the landlord or property management company will review your application and conduct the necessary checks. It’s a good idea to maintain open communication during this period to provide any additional information or documentation if needed.


Navigating the rental application process in Texas requires attention to detail, organization, and preparation. By understanding what to expect and gathering the necessary documents and information, you can streamline the application process and increase your chances of securing your desired rental property. Remember that each landlord may have specific requirements, so it’s essential to clarify expectations upfront and present yourself as a responsible and trustworthy tenant. With the right approach, you’ll be well on your way to finding a comfortable and welcoming place to call home in the Lone Star State.