Among the best way to manage a rental property is to identify the right tenants. Having your tenants fill out a rental application form can be worthwhile. The form basically allows a landlord to get information about his or her tenants.
How Rental Forms Assist Landlords Identify the Right Tenants
A prospective tenant with a record of missing rent payments and overspending are definitely not the kind of tenants you’ll want to rent your apartment to. Fortunately, a rental application form and rental reference letter allows landlords to sort out such prospects. What’s more, you can opt to integrate your management by use of online property management software such as Rentalutions.
Rental application forms can help uncover some nasty red flags about prospective tenants. Should they have a history of theft, drug abuse, vandalism; just to mention a few, you’ll have an easy task selecting the right tenants for your rental apartments. Some cases can be overlooked whereas some are a real deal-breaker!
Contents of a Simple Rental Application
It is very important to understand the employment history of your prospective tenants. Do they switch jobs quite often? What kind of industry are they in? of course, unstable employment of a tenant could simply mean unsteady rent payment. While switching jobs shouldn’t be much of an issue, you’ll want to confirm that he or she doesn’t take long in between the switching of jobs.
What a Proper Rental Application Includes
- Applicant’s Personal Information: Here, you can ask for the name, age, phone number, social security number, dependents, and pets if any.
- The application should include the applicants’ driver’s license information, date of birth, whether they smoke or not, their social security number. The application should also have a section inquiring about the applicant’s current employment and employment history. In most cases, the applicant may also be required to provide income verification documents along with the application. Other than that, there should also be a section for the applicant’s current address, including questions as to whether the address is owned or rented, how long they’ve been living there, and their landlord’s contact information.
- Details of the address they are applying for: if you are looking to rent multiple units, make sure that you have the applicants clarify the unit that they are applying for and their desired date of moving in
- Residential History: Here, you can inquire about the previous addresses, duration of stay, and the reason for shifting. You can also include the name and contacts to the owner of the previous premise.
- Credit History: Here, you can inquire about whether the applicant had been declared bankrupt in the past seven years. Also, you can inquire about prior eviction from a residential property alongside late rent payment history and late credit card payment history. Here, you can also inquire about the employment status and history of the applicant. Below are some of Rental Application Form Templates.
- The number of tenants: Here, the applicant should write their full name and any other tenant who is planning to live on the premises. Keep in mind that it is wise to make all the applicants fill out a separate form, even if they are applying as a unit.
- Pets: If pets are allowed on your premises, ask applicants to specify all their pets in this section. Allow them to specify the number, age, species, or any other useful information that you may need.
- Vehicles: this may only be applicable if your rental is inclusive of parking. Let applicants describe the make of their vehicle, size, condition, and model of the vehicle. Providing vehicle information is essential because it helps you determine which cars should be on the property and which should not be. This information also lets you know whether your property will accommodate your applicant’s vehicle(s), should it be electric and require charging, or if it needs special parking due to its size.
- References: in this section, have all your applicants provide names and contact information of at least two professional references or a relative or close friend. The references must have interacted with the applicant for a considerable amount of time (say 6 months and above).
- Signatures: just like any other documents, the application should conclude with the signature of the applicant and the date of completion of the application.
Rental Application Form Templates
Rental Application Forms by State
When you are advertising for a rental unit in your property, you should be savvy of The Fair Housing Act legislation. The legislation states that it is illegal for a landlord to advertise a rental property that discriminates against people against skin color, disability, religion, familial status, race, gender, or heritage. Most violations of the Fair Housing Act are committed during the advertising stage. If you are reported and investigated for violating this act and you are found guilty, you could be fined.Always ensure that you describe the property and not who you feel would be the best tenant.
When you are screening the applicants, you need to know the following:
Income and employment verification: if the applicant doesn’t have sufficient income to pay the rent, it is legal to send a rejection letter based on insufficient income.
Credit: Credit checks are vital as they give you insight on whether or not the applicant has a habit of paying their bills late or at all. Poor credit history is another simple and valid reason to properly decline to rent to someone.
Housing history: One of the applicants may not have had a good credit report. However, they may not have any evictions listed, and they may have a great rental history. However, if the applicant has an eviction or multiple evictions listed, as the landlord, you are within your rights to reject their application.
Pets, cosigners, and other considerations: you have the right to reject a potential tenant based on pet ownership and their cosigners or other considerations.