A rental application form enables landlords to obtain personal details of prospective tenants to screen their eligibility before leasing their property.
As a Landlord, screening tenants before allowing them to rent the property is part of a self-insurance process to get the right tenants. With the consent of the potential tenant, the landlord should acquire employment details and personal information to determine if they can be trusted to pay the rent and take care of the property. Upon the request of a potential tenant to rent out a premise, the landlord should issue the tenant with a rental application form that includes entries of personal information and employment details for the tenant to fill.
The landlord may also ask the tenant to pay a non-refundable fee equal to the amount he/she may charge for credit history and background checks. Once the landlord reviews the application form, they offer the accepted applicants a written and signed lease agreement. In contrast, the rejected ones are given a rejection letter informing them where they can get their free consumer report 15 § 1681m(a)(4) that is available within 60 days.
The purpose of a rental application form is to screen tenants to determine if they are qualified to gain rental permission in one’s property. The main use of the rental application form is to help landlords access the right pool of tenants and eliminate the misfortune of constantly acquiring stressful tenants who break the rules and do not pay rent on time. A rental application form is beneficial to a landlord when one is new in the business and requires a tool to guide them in finding appropriate occupants for their apartment or building(s).
The main objective of a rental application form is to gather all background information of a tenant applicant for evaluation and to obtain their consent to perform all background checks. Under the consent and acknowledgment section in the application form, the tenant is expected to sign after reading the consenting terms, giving the landlord the authority to screen their financial information, background and do credit checks.
Other common names of a rental application form include:
- Tenant Application
- Rental Lease Application
- Lease Application
- Residential Lease
- Application for a Rental property
Types of Rental Application Form
Landlords must know the various types of rental application forms that they may issue to their potential tenants. Different rental application forms may be used depending on the nature of the property one is leasing out. Below are detailed descriptions of the various rental application forms issued by landlords to tenants.
Rental Application Form Format
A rental application form exists in two main formats, namely the online application form and paper-based application form. The choice of the best format depends on the landlord’s preference based on the nature and capability of each format.
Online application process
An online rental application process uses a digital rental application template that is fillable online. The best part of using an online rental application process is that it enhances application speed. In addition, it is legible for all people and convenient for landlords, especially when dealing with many applicants.
Paper-based rental application form
Tenants can fill in their rental application in a print or physical paper form handed to them by a landlord. The paper-based process is easy to use since all one needs is to write down their information on the printed form and hand it to the landlord for screening.
What to Include in a Rental Application Form
The following are essential details that should be included in a rental application form that the potential tenant is expected to fill out.
Date and application requirements
A rental application form must indicate the application date to show when the application request was presented to the landlord for consideration. Along with a rental application form, a landlord is also expected to provide potential applicants with a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consisting of tenant’s rights. The tenant should fill the FCRA disclosure and send it back to the landlord together with a non-refundable rental application fee charged to cover credit and background checks costs.
The landlord should mention the property details in a rental application form containing descriptive information about the property type: an apartment, a room, or a house. The property details should also cover the square feet measurements that the building stands on and the number of rooms and rental amount. In addition, the property’s address, the rule on having pets on the property, and parking details should also be mentioned in the property details section.
The tenancy details in a rental application form help the landlord know the time duration the tenant hopes to stay in the property from the start date.
The rental application form provides a section for the applicant’s details which informs the landlord on who is requesting a lease. The applicant’s details points of interest may enlist entries such as the name, DOB, social security number, driver’s license number, phone number, vehicles, pets, other occupants, smoking, conviction, and bankruptcy.
The rental history information captured in a rental application form aids the landlords in finding out if the applicant was a good tenant in their previous residency. The landlord expects the tenant to provide the address of their previous residence, the date of their residency, the details and contacts of their former landlord or property manager, rent price, and the reason for moving or eviction.
Landlords need to acquire employment history details of a prospective tenant to confirm their ability to afford rent. The employment history section should provide the company details that the tenant works for, employment duration, gross income, job title and responsibilities, and the employer’s details.
Landlords use the credit history entry in a rental application form to confirm the creditworthiness of a prospective tenant. This part requires details such as the bank account details along with credit card statements. In addition, landlords should request the tenants to attach a letter from the former landlord confirming regular rent payment. The institutions that the potential has accounts with should also be mentioned in the application letter. Other details that the landlord expects the tenant to fill under the credit history include social security number, conviction, bankruptcy, and their consent for the landlord to run a credit check on them.
Personal references are highlighted in a rental application form to back up or allow the landlord to verify the information provided by the potential tenant. The landlord expects the tenant to mention the name of the potential reference, their relationship with the reference person, and their contact information.
A rental application form encompasses a financial information part with fillable entries such as bank details, account number, routing number, branch location, account type, credit card, card number, limit, card type, and other credit cards they might have. The landlord can use this information to verify the creditworthiness of a potential tenant.
Emergency contact details
A landlord expects a potential tenant to fill in emergency contact details on the rental application form, including the name, contact number, and address.
Consent and acknowledgment
A consent and acknowledgment section is essential on the rental application form to permit the landlord to screen a potential tenant. The signature, the date should be put in this section, especially for a Californian resident; a signature provides the landlord authorization to evaluate their consumer report.
Following are some free downloadable templates for you.
Standard Rental Application Forms
A rental application form aids the landlord in collecting relevant personal details for evaluation on a potential tenant to decide if they qualify for a rental agreement. There are essential details that should be included in the application form to provide complete information that guides the landlord on whether to permit the potential tenant to reside in their property or not.