Should I Apply to Multiple Apartments?

You might be wondering if you should apply to multiple apartments at once. The answer is yes, but you should learn how to do this properly.

You should also understand both the pros and cons of this strategy before attempting it. In this guide, we will go over whether it is a good idea to apply to multiple apartments.

What Is the Practice of Applying to Multiple Apartments?

People follow many strategies when hunting for a potential residence. This includes students or professionals seeking last minute accommodation after moving to a new city.

Many parents also apply to multiple apartments when seeking the perfect place for their family.

It’s not uncommon for such people to apply to multiple apartments to raise their chances of being chosen by a landlord.

Such strategies are especially common among people who have lost out on an opportunity due to a competing tenant in the past.

The Advantages of Applying to Multiple Apartments

Some of the advantages of applying to multiple apartments include:

Increasing Your Chances of Finding a Residence

The biggest advantage of applying to multiple apartments is that it increases your odds of finding a residence that is willing to accept you. 

In a way, this is similar to applying for jobs at different employers when you are job hunting. By doing so, you will eventually find someone who believes you are a good fit.

You can cast a pretty wide net during your search. However, most people would prefer to stay at apartments in a particular area that suits them.

Finding Landlords Who Respond Quickly

Most landlords are trying to rent out their apartment to a responsible person as soon as possible. However, you might be surprised if a landlord doesn’t respond to your application.

In this scenario, the landlord might not have ignored your application. Instead, they may be taking some time to respond to you.

This is far more common than you would think. Some landlords might wait for weeks before giving you a response. 

They might do this if they have received dozens of applications and need time to respond to each one.

This process can be incredibly frustrating if you have moved to a new city on short notice and need a residence as soon as possible.

For this reason, you shouldn’t feel guilty about applying to multiple apartments at once. You will definitely find a landlord who responds quickly at some point in your search.

Getting to Find More Options to Consider

Another advantage of applying to multiple apartments is that it allows you to consider more options. So if you have applied to one apartment, you don’t have to stop your search.

This could be advantageous because you can keep looking for better options. For example, you might have applied to the fourth apartment you visited while apartment hunting.

In this scenario, the apartment could be located in a neighborhood you like. However, it might be too small to comfortably accommodate you and your family.

When faced with this circumstance, you can just continue looking for better options. So you might find another apartment in the same neighborhood that is bigger and is a better fit.

You can then apply to this apartment too to raise your chances of getting it. You’re also free to continue your search for an apartment that is even better.

No Impact to Your Credit Score

Landlords typically check the credit scores of people who have applied to stay at their apartment. This informs them how reliable they are when it comes to paying rent.

If you have applied to multiple apartments, multiple landlords are likely to perform a credit check with credit bureaus. This doesn’t impact your credit score in any way.

Therefore, you can continue applying to apartments without worrying about potential issues. This can be important for people who have spent many years building up credit.

The Disadvantages of Applying to Multiple Apartments

Some of the disadvantages of applying to multiple apartments include:

Credit and Background Check Fees

You might not have to worry about your credit being impacted by multiple credit checks. However, you might have to pay a fee for each check.

While some landlords are willing to pay for your credit check, others expect you to bear the costs when you submit an application. They will usually specify this fee upfront.

Credit checks aren’t very expensive, so your landlord might charge only $20 to $30 to get yours done. However, the cost of these credit checks can add up over time.

So if you have applied to around a dozen apartments, you will likely have to pay between $240 and $360 in credit check fees. 

This is a significant amount that you aren’t likely to get back once you have been chosen for an apartment.

Making a Negative Impression With Landlords

In some cases, you may create the wrong impression with a landlord if they learn you have applied to multiple apartments.

This can happen in any number of ways. For example, you may have accidentally disclosed you have applied to other places when you meet the landlord for the first time.

In rarer cases, the landlord may find out you have applied to multiple places by speaking with other landlords. This is generally unlikely to happen, but it remains a possibility.

In some instances, the same landlord may own multiple apartments you have applied to.

It’s difficult to say whether a landlord will automatically overlook your application if they believe you have applied to multiple apartments. However, it might influence their decision.

For example, a landlord might need to choose between you and another prospective tenant who is desperate to find accommodation quickly.

In this scenario, they might choose the other tenant after finding out that you have considered other apartments in the area.

How Many Apartments Should I Apply To?

You might be wondering exactly how many apartments to apply to. The answer will vary based on your background and circumstances. Let’s look at a couple of scenarios. 

Moving to An Apartment Within the Next Week

If you have moved to a new city on short notice, you might have rented out a hotel or motel while apartment hunting. This temporary accommodation can be very expensive to sustain.

Therefore, you will need to find a place as quickly as possible. Assuming you don’t mind paying credit check fees, you could probably apply to around a dozen apartments.

This will require you to look at anywhere from fifteen to over two dozen places over the next few days. So take out some time to plan how you will visit each apartment.

If you believe you have found an apartment that meets your needs in terms of rent, location, size, and facilities, you can submit a rental application. 

You can also skip submitting an application for apartments that don’t meet your needs. This is because you will be looking at many places during your search.

Moving to An Apartment in the Next Month or Later

If you’re planning to move to a city or to another residence in a month or even later, you can be more relaxed about your search. 

Spend some time researching the different apartment options available based on your needs. You also have the freedom to be extra picky regarding certain perks and facilities.

For example, you might be tempted to look for an apartment with an underground parking spot close to the entrance. Similarly, you might want an apartment with ensuite laundry.

Next, you can go out and see each apartment in-person. If you find an option you are happy with, you can go ahead and submit an application. 

You can apply to up to five apartments in this scenario as you aren’t desperate to find a place on short notice. This is advantageous as you won’t have to pay high credit check fees.

How Long Does It Take to Get Approved For An Apartment?

As mentioned earlier, landlords often differ in how long they take to respond to apartment rental applications. If you’re lucky, the landlord will respond to you within a few days.

If they have decided to rent out their apartment to you, you can proceed with the approval process. This generally includes providing references and additional documents.

This process takes between 1 and 3 days. It might take longer if your landlord hasn’t performed a credit check. However, we assume they have done so before choosing you.

Once the approval process is done and you have signed your lease, you can move into your apartment on the date specified on the lease.

Finding Success By Applying to Multiple Apartments

As you can see, there are certainly a few things to keep in mind when you are applying to multiple apartments. However, there is nothing wrong with partaking in this practice.

In fact, it can be advantageous to apply to multiple places depending on your circumstances. So be sure to follow the instructions provided in the above guide.

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