How to prepare your rental application package?

Feb 2, 2023

Have you ever wondered what is the criteria that landlords choose their renters based on?

Due to high demands in renting, the process of renting has become competitive and the main way you’re assessed is through the application package. The quality of your application is what makes you stand out to landlords and this is why we have broken it down for you here.

Whether you are a domestic renter or an international one, the set of required documents differ and there are usually additional documents required from international renters to make their application stronger and increase their chances of being approved. 

The first and most important document is the Rental Application Form (Form 410 in Ontario). This document is provided by the landlord to be filled by you. Filling it completely and accurately is extremely important. The following information will be required:

  • Name of tenants that will be living in the property

  • Emergency contact

  • Current address

  • Prior address

  • Current employment details

  • Prior employment details

  • Personal references for employment

  • Guarantor information if applicable

  • Vehicle information if applicable

  • Pet information if applicable

What if you are not employed?

If you are not employed and still want to rent under your name, don’t worry! You can apply with a guarantor. A guarantor is a person that will pay for your rent in the event you are unable to pay it yourself. It's important to note that your guarantor must typically be employed and located in Canada.

Of course depending on the landlord there may be additional information required on the application form. This form is the most important document because it gives the landlord an idea of your financial standing and past living experience.

What documents are required?

Now moving on to the actual documents required to be accompanied by the application form. These documents are all listed below:

Government-issued ID

This should be a valid government issued ID and could be either a driver’s license or a passport.

Canadian bank statements/Pay stubs

This is usually a bank statement for the most recent 4 to 6 months to just make sure that your employment salary is going through and that you are able to pay rent on a monthly basis based on your income. The bank statement is sometimes replaced by just the pay stubs or pay slip.

Credit Report

Credit reports are almost always required. They show your landlord that you are in good financial standing in a way that is easy to understand (a single number ranging from 300-900 in Canada) along with a snapshot of your financial history such as your relationship with debt and other financial metrics. 

Reference letter from previous landlord

A reference letter from your previous landlord is not always required but can be very useful to the landlord. It will often highlight your renting history, and if you were an overall pleasant tenant to rent to. 

Renter’s insurance

Every renter must have renter’s insurance which is a policy of coverages that ensures that you and your possessions at the rental property are insured. So as part of your application, a proof of possession of renter’s insurance is often required.

What if the renter is international?

In the case where the renter is international, meaning they are not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, then some additional documents may be required.

This will typically include your proof of legal status in Canada. This can be a study permit, work permit or other. You may additionally want to volunteer 4-6 months of rent upfront to make up for your lack of domestic credit history (with some landlords preferring even more). Keep in mind that landlords cannot ask for (let alone require) such significant rent deposits but they do nevertheless improve your chances of being approved for a lease. While this practice does place disproportionate burdens on newcomers, companies like Chexy do offer renters the opportunity to build credit on their rent and hopefully improve their chances of landing a new lease without having to front thousands of dollars on their next rental. 

Have you ever wondered what is the criteria that landlords choose their renters based on?

Due to high demands in renting, the process of renting has become competitive and the main way you’re assessed is through the application package. The quality of your application is what makes you stand out to landlords and this is why we have broken it down for you here.

Whether you are a domestic renter or an international one, the set of required documents differ and there are usually additional documents required from international renters to make their application stronger and increase their chances of being approved. 

The first and most important document is the Rental Application Form (Form 410 in Ontario). This document is provided by the landlord to be filled by you. Filling it completely and accurately is extremely important. The following information will be required:

  • Name of tenants that will be living in the property

  • Emergency contact

  • Current address

  • Prior address

  • Current employment details

  • Prior employment details

  • Personal references for employment

  • Guarantor information if applicable

  • Vehicle information if applicable

  • Pet information if applicable

What if you are not employed?

If you are not employed and still want to rent under your name, don’t worry! You can apply with a guarantor. A guarantor is a person that will pay for your rent in the event you are unable to pay it yourself. It's important to note that your guarantor must typically be employed and located in Canada.

Of course depending on the landlord there may be additional information required on the application form. This form is the most important document because it gives the landlord an idea of your financial standing and past living experience.

What documents are required?

Now moving on to the actual documents required to be accompanied by the application form. These documents are all listed below:

Government-issued ID

This should be a valid government issued ID and could be either a driver’s license or a passport.

Canadian bank statements/Pay stubs

This is usually a bank statement for the most recent 4 to 6 months to just make sure that your employment salary is going through and that you are able to pay rent on a monthly basis based on your income. The bank statement is sometimes replaced by just the pay stubs or pay slip.

Credit Report

Credit reports are almost always required. They show your landlord that you are in good financial standing in a way that is easy to understand (a single number ranging from 300-900 in Canada) along with a snapshot of your financial history such as your relationship with debt and other financial metrics. 

Reference letter from previous landlord

A reference letter from your previous landlord is not always required but can be very useful to the landlord. It will often highlight your renting history, and if you were an overall pleasant tenant to rent to. 

Renter’s insurance

Every renter must have renter’s insurance which is a policy of coverages that ensures that you and your possessions at the rental property are insured. So as part of your application, a proof of possession of renter’s insurance is often required.

What if the renter is international?

In the case where the renter is international, meaning they are not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, then some additional documents may be required.

This will typically include your proof of legal status in Canada. This can be a study permit, work permit or other. You may additionally want to volunteer 4-6 months of rent upfront to make up for your lack of domestic credit history (with some landlords preferring even more). Keep in mind that landlords cannot ask for (let alone require) such significant rent deposits but they do nevertheless improve your chances of being approved for a lease. While this practice does place disproportionate burdens on newcomers, companies like Chexy do offer renters the opportunity to build credit on their rent and hopefully improve their chances of landing a new lease without having to front thousands of dollars on their next rental.