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You may be asked to fill out a rental application requesting information about your bank accounts, credit cards, work or school history, and places you have formerly lived, as well as permission to conduct a credit check. You may be charged a fee for the credit check.

You may also be asked to put down a security deposit to “hold” the apartment for you pending credit approval. This is all standard procedure, but be sure you undestand what you are agreeing to. If you give the landlord a security deposit, be sure you understand the conditions under which it will be returned to you. If you've given the landlord a deposit to "hold" the apartment, then decide you don't want it, you may have trouble getting your money back, especially if you signed a form saying the deposit was non-refundable.

Be sure to read a copy of the lease before you give the landlord a security deposit, in case there are objectionable provisions in it.