I Got Rejected By 5 Florida Apartments & The Reasonings For Each Are Bizarre

Trying to find an apartment in Florida is a total nightmare.

Associate Editor opening the apartment door. Right: The inside of one of the apartments.
Florida Associate Editor

Associate Editor opening the apartment door. Right: The inside of one of the apartments.

Jenna Kelley | Narcity

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

I might as well start practicing my whistling call for help because finding a Florida apartment is about as competitive as the game in The Hunger Games, and, as a journalist, it's my duty to tell you the honest truth about what this process has been like.

If you had to guess, it's a complete nightmare. According to RentCafe, my county made the top 10 most competitive markets, and I can only guess why.

I've already had one realtor tell me my expectations were too high, and I might as well have cracked the code to the market because I can assure you, that is not the reason.

6 Florida Apartment Rentals For Under $1,850/Monthwww.youtube.com

I probably saw upwards of 15 places and applied to five... and got denied by all five of them. Some could just be timing, but some of the reasonings are just bizarre. So, let me tell you what happens after you fall in love with a listing.

Rejection 1

After getting excited the first listing priced at $1,700/mo., I put an offer down. This required was three pay stubs, a photo of my driver's license, my Emotional Support Animal Letter, as I have a puppy, and a PDF file of your credit score.
I have great credit, no eviction notices and a clean record, so I thought I had this in the bank. Boy, was I wrong.
Not only did they go with another applicant, but after my jealousy kicked in, I had to check the listing out online again and saw it was "under contract" for $1,800/mo.
The prospective tenant raised her rent to make sure she landed the spot.

The kitchen of the first rejection.The kitchen of the first rejection.Jenna Kelley | Narcity

Rejection 2

This listing didn't allow dogs. Although I had an ESA letter, I still was worried they would find a random reason to just deny me.

I'm not sure if that was why, but I found out 16 people applied to this specific property, so this one could have been happenstance.

It was listed $1,650 monthly.

Rejection 3

The property of this one looked like a house with extended units rather than an actual complex. I liked that it was quaint and quiet, though it was really small.

I was two rejections down, so I felt like I had to emotionally put down an application. It was $1,550/mo. which was way under my $1,700 monthly max budget. It also had been on the market for 25 days. So, what did I have to lose?

The apartment. That's what!

My realtor told me that the landlord's agent was just as frustrated with the verdict. Apparently, this unit owner has denied the last six prospective tenants. She said I looked the best on paper and doesn't understand why I was denied.

Neither did I... nor will I ever.

Rejection 4

You can probably guess I was starting to get burnt out at this point. What more was I to do?

This time I was absolutely enamored by the listing. It had a key FOB and 24-hour surveillance. It as in a complex with a pool.

It had nice floors, a new kitchen, a gorgeous open space, the bedroom was almost bigger than the living room, I could go on and on about it.

I knew I wanted it. It was listed at $1,700/mo., but my realtor had a client recently rent out an apartment there at $1,600/mo. After the property owner said there had been no other interest — meaning we had a pretty good chance to negotiate — we put in an offer at $1,600/mo.

The inside of the fourth listing I applied to.The inside of the fourth listing I applied to.Jenna Kelley | Narcity

At first the property owner received the application. A day later he told my realtor he didn't come to a decision because of a pipe burst he was taking care of. Then, he just ghosted us.

He changed the listing from "For Rent" to "Sale Pending" with no communication.

Rejection 5

This was the quickest rejection I had yet, and I'm not too sure if that's a good or bad thing.

This condominium was listed at a monthly rent of $1,575. It had an open layout to make a small place appear larger, which I liked, and a private patio, which no other place had.

Today, just as I was going to head to the bank on my lunch, as the place required a hefty check for escrow, which would go toward my security deposit if I was approved, I was told to stop.

"So they went with another offer so you don’t need to go to the bank the other tenant offered a full year in advance but she said both of the offers were between you two they just decided to go with the one where they paid more up front," was the text I received from my realtor.

That means this tenant was so competitive about getting the listing, that they paid $20,475 upfront because you must include the security deposit along with 12 months' rent, and the deposit is the same as the month-to-month payment.

I'll let the silence speak for itself.

I must be a glutton for punishment because my search doesn't stop. I need a place for cryin' out loud!

My biggest tip to give at the moment: if you like something, act on it, and be aggressive. Be the modern-day Katniss Everdeen in the real estate world. If not, someone else will.

Jenna Kelley
Florida Associate Editor
Jenna Kelley was an Associate Editor for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on trends and celebrities in Florida and is based in Miami-Fort Lauderdale in Florida.