I love helping renters because looking for a new place can be stressful, ultra time-consuming, and sometimes just outright painful. The good homes go quickly, so being prepared with a plan is imperative. Acting quickly is the only way to get dibs on the best places. Gather important information ahead of time that might help a landlord pick your application over someone else’s
Just have a few questions about what it takes to find a rental in Bend?
You have options
There are a variety of rentals in Bend spread across the entire area. Whether you want to be downtown, next to the river or on some acreage the competition here is stiff. Property managers are you best friend if you're in the market.
Bend has some of the lowest vacancy rates in the country and only a few apartment communities. There continues to be new development in this category and with the right timeline and strategy you can still find a good deal.
The best way to find rentals in Bend is by looking at each property managers website for availabilities. Using large search websites is ok, but will be redundant and possibly less effective than contacting people at the source. Craigslist will sometimes have inventory that is self-managed or short-term and is worth checking, but I don't recommend using it in order to avoid scams.
There’s a lot to love about Bend, from its diverse brewery scene, to the great outdoors and plenty of entertainment options.
With so much to explore in this city, it's no surprise that rentals are in demand. This guide was designed to help you navigate the fast paced rental market in Bend, especially important when you're relocating from out of state.
When to start looking
There is great variance in when availability for rental homes and apartments is advertised. Sometimes a home is leased through word of mouth or with a simple yard sign, while other times vacancies are marketed months ahead of time. While it's important to familiarize yourself with Bend's different neighborhoods you will likely be constrained by availability and timing when trying to find a rental, so being prepared with all of your documentation and fees is your best bet at securing the place you really want. Bend is an attractive town and easy to navigate, so it's likely you'll be happy no matter where you end up.
Real estate brokers in Bend do not typically assist renters in their search. Except for me. I'm available to help with the search process, accompany you to rentals, tour vacancies on your behalf, to provide advice, and guide you through the application process.
Most long term rentals in Bend are managed by professional property management companies. Their main objective is taking care of property owners by marketing their vacancies, screening applicants, collecting rent, dispatching maintenance and providing accounting services. They are a great resource for surfacing availabilities that might be coming on the market in the future.
Bend does not have a particularly large inventory of apartments. While you might see many new developments sprouting up on the outskirts of town, many of these communities won't be available until later in the year. If you are considering moving into an apartment it is crucial to identify your desired community and make contact far in advance of your move.
Rentals go quickly in Bend so having documentation ready will help you once you’ve found the right place. Property managers and landlords usually review applications in the order in which they are received, so submitting your application quickly greatly improve the chances of securing a place.
To apply for a rental, you will need to complete an application provided by the landlord. Application forms vary and might be available online or need to be completed on paper. You should be prepared to document information about your employment, rental history, and previous landlord contact information. The best thing you can do is to be prepared with the following documentation:
- Proof of employment letter on company letterhead and signed by a company representative stating position, start date, length of employment, salary, and opportunities for bonuses
- If self employed, CPA letter stating annual income and source of income
- Last two pay stubs
- Last two years' tax returns
- Last two years' W-2s
- Two most recent bank statements
- Contact information for previous landlords
- Photo ID: driver's license, passport, etc.
- Landlords typically require tenants’ combined annual salaries to equal 3 times the monthly rent
- If you do not meet this requirement, some landlords might accept a larger deposit or a co-signor.
- Landlords look for a good credit history and expect reasonable documentation for any problems.
Once you have applied for a rental, it typically takes most landlords one or two days to review an application, run credit & background checks, and get back to an applicant with a decision.
If you are approved and live out of the area, expect to sign lease paperwork online, via email or fax, or sometimes though express mail. If you are local, you should be able to sign lease paperwork at the office or a local coffee shop.
Expect to pay an application fee somewhere between $25-100 to cover the cost of processing the application and running a credit report and background check. In the most competitive markets you might be asked to submit a refundable security deposit in order to secure the rental immediately upon approval of your application.
While you will not be obligated to take an apartment you’ve been approved for, make sure that it is the right home for you! Besides, applying to multiple rentals can get expensive!
Payments at lease signing, in the form of certified check or money order, typically include:
- First month’s rent
- Security deposit equal to 1-2 months rent
Security deposit: The landlord takes this payment to protect against any damage done by the tenant over the course of the lease. If there is no damage beyond normal wear and tear of the apartment, the landlord will refund your deposit after you move out. Please consult Oregon tenant/landlord law for more information on security deposits.
In cases where the applicant has a limited work history, does not have a U.S. credit history, or does not quite meet the landlord’s financial requirements, the landlord will sometimes ask for additional rent or security up front, a co-signor, or both a co-signor and additional funds up front. The amount required varies, and is negotiated between the applicants and the landlord during the application process.
Landlords typically require all roommates to fill out a full application, submit personal documentation, and sign the lease. Landlords can look to each individual tenant to cover the full monthly rent, so make sure you and your roommates are on the same page before signing a lease together.
Bend is a very pet-friendly town. While pet policy varies by landlord and apartment community, communicating the specifics about your pet, such as weight and breed, to your broker or prospective landlord will help you to find places that fit your situation best.