Resident Qualification Requirements


last updated: 9/5/2023

Thank you for your interest in Sylvan Homes. Our qualifying criteria is outlined below. Please read these requirements thoroughly prior to submitting your application. Application fees are non-refundable.


This application, even if accepted, shall under no circumstances be considered a lease agreement, nor an offer to lease between the applicant and the landlord. No lease shall exist between the applicant and the landlord until the parties enter into a formal Lease Agreement and the applicant pays all required fees, deposits, and advance rent. Please be advised that Sylvan Homes’ minimum lease term is 12 months. Deposits are non-refundable (1) until completion of the lease term, if applicable, (2) unless Sylvan Homes cannot deliver the home on your move in day or by a mutually agreed upon day thereafter or in the case of a non-delivered home, the applicant prefers another home of similar or less rent then the deposit, and/or (3) may be applied towards that chosen home.


By applying, the applicant authorizes Sylvan Homes, LLC to verify your employment status (income), background, credit, and rental history from all reporting agencies.

ID Requirements (1 form of any of the following)

Applicants are required to submit a valid government issued photo ID. Acceptable forms of identification include the following:

  • State issued driver’s license/State ID
  • US issued Passport
  • US Permanent Resident Card
  • US Military ID (front and back required)
  • Foreign Passport + US issued work visa which must remain valid through end of lease term

Required Income Documentation

Sylvan Homes calculates the applicant’s income based solely upon the applicant’s gross income.

Employed Applicants/Contracted Workers

Employed applicants and contracted workers are required to submit one or more of the following documentations as proof of income:

  • Pay Stubs
    • 30 days of your most recent pay stubs from all employment.
      • Paid weekly = 4 pay stubs minimum
      • Paid bi-monthly = 2 pay stubs minimum
      • Paid monthly = 2 pay stubs minimum (current month and prior month)
  • 60 days of your most recent bank statements if you are paid by direct deposit.
  • 90 days of your most recent bank statements if you do not receive pay stubs or direct deposit.
  • Signed letter of employment dated within 30 days which includes start date, pay frequency, and compensation details. If submitting a job offer letter, bank statements and/or pay stubs from prior job will need to show direct deposits for previous and funds available equal to 5x the rent amount. Any other verifiable income such as a second job, retirement benefits, SSA/SSI, disability, GI benefits, Alimony, Child Support should be submitted as well. All letters submitted MUST be submitted on its official government or company letterhead.
  • An applicant’s gross monthly income (total household income) must equal or exceed 3x’s the total rent.
    Monthly Rent Qualified Gross Income Applicant’s Monthly Gross Income Income Approval Status
    $1,928 $5,784 $5,820 Approved
    $2,543 $7,629 $7,338 Denied
  • Guarantors must show a gross monthly income equal to or exceeding 4 x’s the total rent

*Applicants that provide any false, counterfeit, or other fake documentation are subject to denial, even if discovered after approval.

Moving Between States

If you are moving between states but will be working for the same company in the new state that you work for in your current state, please submit your transfer letter on your company’s letterhead that includes your start date, pay frequency, hourly rate/salary and is signed by your employer.

Self-Employed Applicants

Self -Employed Applicants are required to have business in operation for a minimum of 6 months and must submit the following documentation:

  • 4 months of your most recent personal and business account bank statements. Personal account MUST show electronic deposits of how you consistently pay yourself from your business account into your personal account; or
    • Personal bank account records MUST show electronic deposits of how you consistently pay yourself from your business account into your personal account
  • Most recent full year business filed tax returns, prepared by a Certified Accountant

*Sylvan Homes does not consider Cash, Zelle, CashApp, Venmo, or similar electronic deposits or transfers into a personal account as verifiable income.

*Sylvan Homes does not allow Business to be conducted in the rental home to which the Public is invited into the home to conduct business transactions.

Fixed Income Applicants

Fixed Income Applicants are required to submit one or more of the following documents as verifiable income:

  • Retirement Benefits
  • Disability Benefits
  • GI Benefits
  • Alimony
  • Child Support
  • 90 days of your most recent bank statements if you are paid by direct deposit.
  • Most recent year Personal filed taxes (prepared by a certified accountant or a certified tax preparer only)
  • All letters submitted MUST be submitted on its official government or company letterhead.

Applicants with Housing Vouchers

Housing vouchers must provide the following information:

  • Your approved unit size (MUST match the unit size and Rent of the property you are interested in).
  • Date the voucher was issued.
  • Date the voucher expires.
  • Date the extension expires.
  • Signed and dated by you and your housing representative.

*The voucher’s expiration date and/or extension date MUST be dated a minimum of 30 days out from the submission date of your application or the applicant will be directed to the Housing Authority to request an extension prior to the application.

Applicant Screening Process

A background screening will be completed on all applicants to verify credit worthiness. A credit report will be obtained on all applicants to verify credit ratings.

Income plus verification of credit history will be entered into a credit scoring model to determine rental eligibility and security deposit levels. This credit scoring model will include positive and negative payment history for lines of credit, usage of credit, credit history, credit availability, and inquiry history.

Unfavorable accounts that negatively influence your score include, but are not limited to any collections, foreclosures, charge-off(s), repossessions, absence of credit and current delinquencies. Your approval is determined by your SafeRent rental score.

The Saferent rental score is determined by an analysis of information found in each applicant’s consumer credit report, application, and previous rental history.

Our application process also includes identification verification which can be sent to applicants via text or documents can be uploaded, income verification, criminal background check, and rental history verification.

  • A favorable rental score determines a client is approved for a 1-month security deposit.
  • A rental score with conditions determines a client is approved for a 1.5-month security deposit. Security deposits may vary depending on the market, and SafeRent rental score

*Clients will receive an Adverse Action Notice via email should their application be declined.

In today’s competitive marketplace it is common to have more than one application on any given home. In this instance, the first applicant to pay a Holding Fee and sign a Lease, would take precedence over the other applications in the queue. If you miss this opportunity, you may still be qualified for another Sylvan Home of similar price range, with no additional application fees required for 60 days.

*Please note, application fees are $50 per person 18+ years of age. An application for each person 18+ years of age is required per household. State of Virginia – Section 8 Applicants – the application fee is $45.25 for each person 18+ years of age that will be residing in the home.

Application fees are non-refundable in the event of multiple applications received on any home regardless of the outcome.

Criminal History

  • All applicants with previous felony convictions, fraud related offenses and acts of violence (physical, sexual, terroristic, etc.) may be declined.
  • Registered sex offenders will be declined.
  • Some felony convictions within a specified period may be declined based upon the severity, recidivism, and remoteness of the crime as outlined on crime safety grid.
  • Multiple misdemeanors within a specified period may be declined based upon severity, recidivism, and remoteness as outlined on crime safety grid.

Credit History

  • No evictions or multiple filings within the last 3 years; older cases require applicants to provide a debt satisfaction letter or other proof of payment.
  • No open bankruptcies.
  • Any outstanding creditor debt or liens may be cause for decline without proof of satisfied judgment.

Requirements for Animals

  • Sylvan Homes welcomes up to a maximum of 2 animals per household. An animal is defined as a dog, cat, fish, and small caged domestic animals.
  • There is a $250 non-refundable animal fee, per animal.
  • Sylvan Homes does not allow exotic, farm, wild or venomous animals.
  • The following dog breeds are not permitted:
    • Pit Bulls, Bulldogs (French bulldogs excluded)
    • American Bull Terriers
    • American Staffordshire Terriers
    • Rottweilers
    • Dobermans
    • Wolf Hybrids
    • Any breed mix of the aforementioned.
  • Depending on the property size, animal weight and size restrictions may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Some dogs may require a letter from a licensed veterinarian verifying non-violent behavior.
  • Photo(s) of your pet(s) are required * not required for ESA or Service animals.

Other Requirements for Animals

  • All animal owners must complete and abide by the Pet Section 26 of the lease.
  • Evidence of renters insurance coverage, which includes additional dog bite liability.

Service Animal and ESA Policy

Sylvan complies with all requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and The Fair Housing Act regarding Service Animals and are exempt from any rent, fees, deposits, and insurance requirements.

*An Official ESA or Service Animal letter from the animal’s veterinarian or Medical provider MUST be submitted for verification and dated within the last 6 months.

Holding Fee/Deposit

  • The holding fee is determined by rental score. Upon approval, you will be notified if we require a fee equivalent to 1 month rent or 1.5 month’s rent.
  • The holding fee must be paid online through one of these preferred methods:
    • Residential prospects may pay online through the Sylvan Homes portal with credit/debit card or with a valid bank account. Instructions provided at approval.
    • Residential prospects may pay at the nearest approved payment center.
      • To pay through an approved payment center, you will need a voucher certificate. Instructions for accessing a payment voucher are provided at approval.
  • Approved applicants have a total of 14 days to start the lease period and pay remaining monies owed including the first month’s rent and any prorated amount due as determined by the lease start date. 
  • The Holding Fee will become the Security Deposit upon the lease start date.
  • PAYMENT MUST CLEAR PRIOR TO RECEIVING KEYS TO THE PROPERTY. Therefore, payment-in-full must be made a minimum of 7 business days (if paying electronically) or pay CASH with a voucher certificate prior to your scheduled move-in date to avoid delays.
  • If fees come back as insufficient funds or disputed, you may not be considered for the home and the home will be put back on the market for others to apply.

*Properties are leased on a first come, first served basis.
*The Holding Fee is non-refundable.


  • Desired move-in date must allow a minimum of 5 business days from notice of approval and a maximum of 14 days from notice of approval.

Occupancy Guidelines

  • Occupancy guidelines allow 2 people per bedroom + 1 or in accordance with local/state laws where applicable.