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 objective and consistent methods in compliance with applicable Fair Housing regulations.

We will only begin processing once the household application has been completed. This includes the applications of each occupant 18 years or older.

Once the applicant is conditionally approved, CPM will review criminal and background information. The first full month’s rent payment is due within three business days.

Final approval will only be given after a satisfactory criminal and background check and after the first full month’s rent payment is received in our office. 

Once a lease is executed, an additional payment equivalent to the full month of rent is due to be used as the resident’s security deposit. Payments will only be deposited by CPM if a lease is executed. Keys to the rental will only be provided after payments are received and other criteria are met.

Approval Guidelines

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

    • Satisfactory income as a percentage of the rent amount (combined monthly gross income should equal between 2.5 to 3 times the monthly rent amount).
    • Satisfactory credit report results (overall debt level and income, payment history, presence of collections and bankruptcies).
    • Satisfactory tenancy report (court filings are reviewed for evictions and chronic late payments)
    • Satisfactory landlord references.

Once the applicant is conditionally approved, we will review criminal and background. The first full month’s rent payment is due within three days after conditional approval or the application will be considered withdrawn.

Final approval will only be given after a satisfactory criminal and background check and after the first full month’s rent payment is received in our office. Payments will only be deposited if a lease is executed.

Application Overview

All rental applications must be completed within 7 calendar days of submission or it will be considered withdrawn. Incomplete applications will not be fully processed nor will application results be provided. Rental application fees are nonrefundable.

Once you start the online application on the secure server it will collect your application information and process your application fee via a credit or 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.

If you require a co-signer for the lease, they will need to submit their own application. Once you have completed your application, send an email to with the guarantor’s name and email to confirm they are applying as a co-signer and not as an occupant (see details below).

Application Supporting Documents

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

We will not consider a rental application package complete without all supporting documents which must be received within seven calendar days of application submission. A completed package is comprised of items 1 through 5 below.

1. A completed application form for each occupant over 18 years old

2. Application Fee of $52.50 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. Proof of current income to be used to pay rent, utilities. etc.

      • For salaried professionals, latest three 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, 4 paystubs in consecutive date order 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), Approval letter for payment of rent and or security deposit.
      • If you will be using asset income, a copy of statements or bank account records spanning three months showing the funds to be used.

6. Pet application/Pet fee – if you are applying with pets, notify us at 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 and we will receive the report automatically

Rental Applications can only be processed if the completed application package is received within seven calendar days or it will be considered Application Supporting Documents withdrawn by the applicant and no further processing will occur.

Tenant Agent may email completed applications or drop them off at our office. Agent will be responsible for the prompt delivery of the original application form and checks.

Application Processing

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 for prior landlords and letting them know to expect our email/call for a reference will help to minimize delays.

If the rental application is not approved, the applicant will be informed via email. If items 1-5 are satisfactory, the applicant will receive a conditional offer to rent as per the requirements of the District of Columbia’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 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 to our screening company.

The property manager will consider all qualified applicants receiving a final approval to determine the stronger application. The first party to return the executed lease will be accepted. At that point, CPM will deposit the first month’s rent payment. 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.


Payments will only be deposit if a lease is executed.

CPM requires the applicant to provide the first payment within three business days upon receiving the conditional approval. Payment is equivalent to one full month of rent and is to be made payable to Columbia Property Management via a bank or cashier’s check or with money orders. The payment must be received in our office within three business days. If payment is not received, the application will be considered withdrawn by the applicant.

Guarantors – Co-Signers

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.comfor 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, family responsibilities, political affiliation, matriculation, familial status, source of income, place of residence or business, or status as a victim of intrafamily offense.

Trusted and Trained

We are active members in multiple professional organizations, including the DC chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM).

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