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How Long Does an Apartment Application Take to Be Approved?

Now that you’ve successfully submitted your apartment application, the waiting game for approval begins. But, how long does an apartment application take to get approved?

This guide will explain how long it typically takes to get approved for an apartment, what factors are involved, and what you can do to speed up the process. 


Key Takeaways 

  • The apartment application approval process usually takes 24 to 72 hours. However, many factors can influence this timeframe.  
  • If you submit your application late in the day or on a Friday, it will be processed on the next business day. For faster results, we recommend to submit early in the week and during business hours. 
  • Providing all necessary documents and information completely can speed up the process, and most of the time, it leads to approval within a few hours.  
  • Delays may be expected due to background checks or credit reviews, but a thorough preparation can help you get approved more quickly. 


Factors That Affect the Rental Approval Time 

How long it takes for your rental application to get approved depends on things from both the landlord and your side. As trusted property managers in Washington DC, Bay Property Management Group has the experience and knowledge of how long it typically takes to get approved for an apartment. Let’s look at some important factors: 

Screening Process 

Most of the time, this is where a landlord or a property manager will make time to actually review everything you submitted. That would determine how much time it would take time for them to approve your rental application. Some parts of the screening process include: 

Credit Checks 

Credit checks are a crucial part of the screening process for landlords. They assess your financial history to determine your ability to manage bills and make payments on time. A credit check includes: 

  • Credit Score: Your credit score gives landlords a quick overview of your creditworthiness. A higher score generally means that you are reliable in paying bills and managing credit. 
  • Credit Report: This details your credit history, including outstanding debts, payment history, and any bankruptcies or collections. Landlords use this information to gauge how responsible you are with your finances. 

Background Checks 

If credit checks are only focused on checking your credit, background checks are focused on evaluating your personal history and background such as: 

  • Criminal History: Of course, landlords check your criminal history to make sure that tenants have a clean legal background. 
  • Verification of Past Addresses: In this process, landlords check where you lived before to make sure your rental history matches the information you provided. 

Reference Verification 

Reference verification means your landlord or your property manager getting in touch with people who can share insights about your reliability as a tenant. Most of the time, they will reach out to: 

  • Previous Landlords: Property managers or landlords will reach out to your former landlords to ask about your rental history.  
  • Employers: Landlords may reach out to your current or former employers to confirm your job status and income. Employers may also vouch for your character. 

Note: Not all landlords or property management companies have the same process in approving a rental application. With that being said, landlords or property managers with a more comprehensive screening process will naturally take longer to review applications. 

Market Demand

Just something to keep in mind, market demand is also a factor we need to consider in a rental application approval. Here’s why: 

High Demand: In a market with many interested renters (high demand); 

  • Landlords tend to receive a high volume of applications, giving them more options. 
  • They can be more selective and take their time choosing the most qualified applicant. 
  • This can lead to longer wait times for applicants. 

Low Demand: Conversely, in a slow market with few applicants; 

  • Landlords may be more eager to fill the vacancy quickly. 
  • The approval process might be faster, especially for applicants with strong qualifications. 

Application Completeness 

Apart from what the landlords can control, it’s important that you also do your part as a tenant. Here are some things you should double-check and make sure you’ve done carefully before sending in your rental application: 

Required Documents 

A complete rental application includes all necessary documents that provide comprehensive documents of your financial stability and personal background. These documents typically include: 

Rental Application: Accuracy and Clarity 

You need to make sure that your application is accurate for a smooth approval process. This means you need to have: 

  • Correct Information: Before submitting, make sure to double-check that all the information you provide is correct. You don’t want to submit inaccurate information as it can lead to delays, though. 
  • Consistency: You need to make sure that what you wrote on your application matches what’s on your supporting documents. If there are any differences, it could make the approval process take longer. 

7 Tips to Speed Up Your Rental Application Approval 

There are several steps you can take to potentially speed up your approval. Here are the 7 expert tips that can help you speed up your rental approval:  

1. Submit a Complete Application 

Before submitting, make sure that your application is filled out completely and accurately. Include all required documents needed by your landlord. For landlords, a thorough and well-organized application shows that you are a serious applicant and it avoids delays too. 

2. Provide Clear and Accurate Information 

Please double-check your application for any errors or inconsistencies. Make sure that all the details you included are accurate and match with your supporting documents. This actually reduces the chances of the landlord needing to follow up for clarification. 

3. Prepare Your Documents in Advance 

Gather all necessary documents before you start the application process. Having these ready to go can speed up the submission process. This can help you avoid any errors too. 

4. Apply Early in the Week 

Submit your application early in the week and during business hours. Applications submitted late in the day or on Fridays may not be processed until the next business day, and this actually results in delays. 

 5. Include a Cover Letter 

You can write a brief cover letter introducing yourself and explaining why you are a good fit for the rental property. You can highlight your stable income, positive rental history, and any other relevant information. Sometimes, a personal touch can make your application stand out. 

6. Follow Up Promptly 

After submitting your application, make sure to follow up with the landlord or property management company to confirm they received it and to inquire about the next steps. 

7. Be Ready for Additional Inquiries 

Lastly, get ready to answer fast if the landlord or a property manager asks for more information or documents. This actually helps keep things moving smoothly without delays. 

How Bay Property Management Group Can Help 

If you’re a tenant, we hope that the information we provided above has given you a clear understanding of how long it might take for your landlord or property manager to approve your rental apartment application. However, if you are a landlord looking to remove the load of managing your rental properties off your shoulders, we’re here to help. 

At Bay Property Management Group, we handle it all. From tenant screening to addressing maintenance issues and collecting monthly rent payments, we are dedicated to making sure your properties are well-managed. If you want more time with your family, reach out to BMG today. We offer full-service management in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC.