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3.5 References 

Most rental applications ask for your rental and employment history. You may be asked to provide references from both previous and current landlords and employers

Landlords ask for this information to determine what type of person you are, and how you will behave as a tenant. They are trying to ensure that you won’t pay the rent late, damage the unit, disturb others, or otherwise cause problems.

For first-time renters and people without a strong employment background, it may be challenging to provide references. If you anticipate references being a problem, there are ways of overcoming this issue.

If you do not have any references from previous landlords, try to get references from employers, coaches, teachers, family friends, volunteer supervisors, or anyone else who can provide a positive description of your character. If a reference says you're always on time for your volunteer shifts, that's a good indication that you will be on time with rent. Or, if you have an employer who claims that you display a caring attitude in the workplace, that may help convince a landlord that you will care for their property. The certificate you receive from passing this course can also be used as a reference. It shows that you have taken the time to educate yourself on what it means to be a good tenant.

On the next page, there is a worksheet to help you identify and list your references. By practicing now, you will be ready when faced with the real request later.