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How to Apply for One of our Rentals

Thank you for your interest in applying for a rental offered by Columbia Property Management. Our application process is designed to find qualified residents using an objective and consistent methods in compliance with all applicable Fair Housing regulations.

Using the online application process is easier for you, more accurate, and yields faster application processing times. Once you start the online application on the secure server it will collect your application information and the process your application fee via a credit/debit card. From there, the processing will start immediately. If more than one person is applying, the first to apply will invite other applicants so that the applications are considered together as one household.

Approval Guidelines

The following will be verified with the goal to qualify the applicant for the rental:

  1. Satisfactory income as a percentage of the rent amount (typically, combined monthly gross income should equal between 2.5 to 3 times the monthly rent amount).
  2. Satisfactory credit report results (typically a credit score of 650 and above, overall debt level and income, presence of collections).
  3. Satisfactory landlord references (survey questions of previous landlords are positive)
  4. Satisfactory tenancy report (review court filings for evictions and chronic late payments)
  5. Once the applicant is conditionally approved, we will review criminal and background checks for convictions of crimes against people or property within the past seven years. Applicants will have the opportunity to provide evidence of errors within their criminal record, rehabilitation, or other mitigating factors.

Application Supporting Documents

We will not consider a rental application package complete until we receive all supporting documents, including a check or money order for the 1st month rent. These funds will not be deposited until a lease is signed.

A completed package is comprised of items 1 through 6 below. Supplementary documents can be uploaded to our electronic rental application, sent via email, or priority mail. If you have questions or wish to send attachments via email, our Office Administrator is your point of contact Admin@ColumbiaPM.com

  1. A completed application form for each occupant over 18 years old
  2. Application Fee of $50 for each applicant. This will be collected as part of the online process, or you can submit a money order or cashier’s check payable to Columbia Property Management.
  3. The first full month rent charge using a separate check. This check will only be deposited if a lease is executed and must be a cashier’s check or money orders, made payable to Columbia Property Management. Without this, the application is not considered complete and a lease will not be signed by CPM until the funds are received.
  4. Enlarged Photocopy of your driver’s license or other government-issued photo identification.
  5. If you are applying with pets, notify us at Admin@ColumbiaPM.com . There is a non-refundable pet fee of $350 per pet to be paid prior to move in. Register your pet at our screening website https://www.petscreening.com/referral/impYvzRzL2Js and we will receive the report automatically.
  6. Proof of current income to be used to pay rent and other monthly charges:
    • For salaried professionals, a photocopy of the latest two pay statements. If new to the job, two months of the most recent bank statements and a Job Offer letter from employer. For military, copy of LES and orders
    • For hourly or weekly wage workers, pay statements if you have them or the last year’s W-2 form with two months of the most recent bank statements.
    • For full-time students, copy of loans, grants, or any other documented income during the rental period. For international students, also copy of your F-1 visa.
    • For self-employed or persons with primarily tip income, last two year’s form 1040 and six months of bank statements.
    • For subsidy recipients, photocopy of payment voucher (including HCVP or Sec. 8)
    • If you will be using asset income, a copy of statements or bank account records spanning three months showing the funds to be used.

Applicants can only be qualified if a completed rental application package is received within seven calendar days or it will be considered withdrawn by the applicant and no further processing will occur.

Tenant Agent may email completed applications or drop them off at our office. A scanned copy of funds showing proof they have collected the application fees and first month’s rent in separate checks will suffice. Agent will be responsible for the prompt delivery of the original application form and checks.

Application Processing

First, items 1-4 of the Approval Guidelines are processed. If the application is not approved, the applicant will be informed, and the first month’s rent check will be returned to the applicant or shredded. If items 1-4 are satisfactory, the applicant will receive a conditional offer to rent as per the requirements of the District’s Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act of 2016. Once the conditional offer is provided, CPM will process the applicant’s criminal and background screening.

Normal processing time varies and averages one or two business days depending on the responsiveness of the former landlords to provide the rental history. Providing accurate contact information about prior landlords will help to minimize delays.

The property manager will offer a lease for the rental to all qualified applicants receiving a final approval after the criminal and background screening. The first party to return the executed lease will be accepted. At that point, CPM will deposit the first month’s rent check. A lease that is not counter-signed by the property manager is not valid and may be rescinded if another party executes the lease first, so time is of the essence.


Some applicants need assistance from another party to qualify under our credit and income guidelines. If this is the case for your application, Columbia Property Management requires the co-signer or guarantor to also apply so that we may test the income and creditworthiness of the co-signer.

If this is done with the online application, add the person as an additional occupant. If you are using the paper based application, we won’t require a rental application from the prospective co-signer, rather a completed Credit Reference Authorization Form and the Guarantor of Lease Agreement form. Contact Admin@ColumbiaPM.com for these forms. Co-signers need to have satisfactory income and credit results for the applicant to qualify for the rental.

Protected Traits in Housing in the District of Columbia

In the District of Columbia discrimination in housing is illegal based on 20 protected traits. Rental applications will be processed in accordance with all Fair Housing and occupancy laws. It is unlawful to discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status or disability. In addition, in the District of Columbia, it is unlawful to discriminate based on personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, sexual harassment, family responsibilities, matriculation, familial status, genetic information, political affiliation, source of income, place of residence or business, or status as a victim of intrafamily offense.

We recently moved from a lovely townhouse in Georgetown managed by CPM. We found the team responsive to our needs and very helpful throughout the term of our lease. Repairs were always completed by skilled professionals and typically completed with the highest quality materials. As a tenant, Scott always made us feel like we were valued, appreciated and welcomed. On a couple of occasions when an issue arose between us and the owner, he was a great mediator and helped us resolve things amicably and fairly for all concerned. I would be happy to lease another home managed by CPM.

A H.

What People Are Saying About Us

Washington DC Property Management Experts

Our local experience is your advantage in all aspects of the Washington DC residential rental real estate market.

Our in-depth knowledge of the details of the Washington DC market and submarkets, from tenant pool to price points and quality vendors ensures that you get the highest quality management for your rental investment.


If you’d like to learn more about our properties and what it’s like to work with Columbia Property Management, get in touch. We’d be happy to talk more about our rental properties, our application requirements, and our leasing process.

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Columbia Property Management

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 92488, Washington, DC 20090

Main Office:
1140 3rd Street NE, Floor 2,  Washington, DC 20002
T: (888) 857-6594 | F: (202) 600-8165