What does Conditionally Approved mean when applying for an apartment


What does Conditionally Approved mean

Finding an ideal apartment is challenging enough, but getting a conditionally approved status can make the process even trickier. Don’t panic – this comprehensive guide explains everything you need to know about conditional apartment approvals in the U.S. so you can navigate the process smoothly and successfully.

What does Conditionally Approved mean?

Conditional approval for an apartment means that the landlord has some conditions or requirements they need clarified or confirmed before they can fully approve your apartment application. These conditions could be related to your employment, rental history, or your credit.

Common conditions landlords require for approval include:

  • Verification of income through pay stubs, tax returns, or employment letters to prove you can afford the rent
  • A credit check and credit score meeting the minimum requirement
  • Acceptable references from previous landlords and employers
  • Payment of an application fee and/or security deposit

Essentially, conditional approval is the landlord’s way of ensuring you are a reliable, qualified tenant who can make rent payments on time and won’t pose a risk.

What happens when you get Conditionally Approved?

What happens when you get Conditionally Approved?

If your apartment application is conditionally approved, the landlord or their representative will contact you with the specific conditions or documentation you need to provide to move forward. This may include requests like:

  • Recent pay stubs or income statements
  • Bank statements showing sufficient funds
  • Contact information for previous landlords to verify good rental history
  • Payment of an application fee (often non-refundable)
  • Copy of your credit report

It’s crucial that you provide all requested items fully, accurately, and promptly. Delaying or forgetting something can lead to denial of your application, so stay on top of the conditions. The landlord cannot legally approve you until all requirements are satisfied.

Once you have met all the stated conditions, your file goes back to the final underwriting stage. If approved at this point, you’ll be asked to sign the lease agreement!

How long is the process of getting Conditionally Approved?

The typical rental approval process from start to finish takes 3-4 weeks, though timing can vary. Here’s a general overview:

  1. Application Review & Screening: 1-2 weeks
  2. Initial Underwriting: 1-3 days
  3. Conditional Approval Period: 1-2 weeks to provide conditions
  4. Final Review & Approval: Within 3 business days if all conditions met

By being proactive and submitting all requirements as soon as possible, you can help keep the process moving efficiently. The sooner you satisfy all conditions, the sooner you’ll get an final answer.

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Ways to get approved easily

While conditional approval adds an extra step, there are some smart tips to increase your chances of an easy, successful rental application:

  1. Make a great first impression in all interactions, communications and showings
  2. Have all documentation ready in advance, including:
    • References from previous landlords
    • Proof of income (pay stubs, employment letter, taxes)
    • Rental history reports or transcripts
    • Credit report and score
  3. Highlight positive qualifications like good credit, stable job, low debt
  4. Offer to pay a higher security deposit if issues like poor credit
  5. Follow up politely but persistently to provide conditions ASAP
  6. Act professionally and responsibly throughout – landlords appreciate reliability

By positioning yourself as an ideal potential tenant from the start, you increase the likelihood of sailing through to approval, even if conditions are required.


While the words conditionally approved may sound daunting at first for apartment hunters, it’s important to understand that it is a very common and standard part of the rental approval process these days, especially in competitive markets.

By preparing ahead of time, submitting all requirements completely and quickly, and demonstrating you are a qualified, reliable tenant, conditional approval can simply be a minor hurdle before moving into your dream rental. Stay organized, communicate responsively, and don’t get discouraged – that new home could be just around the corner!

The key takeaway is that conditionally approved doesn’t mean you’re rejected – it just means you have a few more simple requirements to meet before getting that final approval stamp. Approach it as a normal phase of the apartment hunt, and you’ll be holding those new keys before you know it.

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