What to Include in a Rental Application

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Real Estate

When a landlord meets a potential tenant, their primary concern is whether they will pay rent on time. While personal impressions are important, landlords need more substantial information before renting to strangers. This is where rental applications come in.

A rental application should provide a clear picture of the tenant’s financial situation and payment reliability. Create a document with a list of questions and have a lawyer review it to ensure compliance with fair housing laws and to protect against discrimination claims. Include a code of conduct outlining acceptable behavior in your unit and state the requested rent amount. Be sure to have the applicant sign the application.

The application should collect personal information such as name, contact details, and the number of children and pets that will be living in the property. Request permission to run a credit check and obtain the applicant’s Social Security number and driver’s license photocopy for this purpose.

Proof of the applicant’s ability to pay rent is crucial. Request bank statements and recent pay stubs. If the monthly rent is more than one-third of their income, it may be difficult for them to make payments on time. Check their employment history to see how long they stayed in previous jobs. Frequent job changes may be a red flag.

A rental history that includes contact information for previous landlords is also important. Contact them to check for evictions or missed rental payments. A complete history will help determine if the applicant is trustworthy enough to rent your property.





1. What is a rental application?

A rental application is a document that potential tenants must fill out when they want to rent a property. It usually includes personal information, rental history, employment status, and references.

2. What personal information should be included in a rental application?

A rental application typically asks for the tenant’s full name, date of birth, social security number, and contact information. Some applications may also ask for the tenant’s driver’s license number or passport number.

3. What rental history information should be included in a rental application?

A rental application may ask for the tenant’s previous addresses, how long they lived there, and the landlord’s contact information. It may also ask if the tenant was ever evicted or if they have any outstanding debts with a landlord.

4. What employment information should be included in a rental application?

A rental application may ask for the tenant’s current employer, job title, length of employment, and monthly income. It may also ask for the employer’s contact information.

5. What references should be included in a rental application?

A rental application may ask for personal references or professional references. Personal references can be family or friends, while professional references can be a supervisor or coworker. The application may also ask for their contact information.

6. Should a rental application include a credit check?

Many landlords require a credit check as part of the rental application process. This helps them determine if the tenant has a history of paying bills on time and managing their finances responsibly. If a landlord requires a credit check, they should inform the tenant beforehand.

7. Is there anything else that may be included in a rental application?

Some rental applications may ask for additional information, such as the number of pets the tenant has or if they smoke. The application may also include a section for the tenant to explain any special circumstances that may affect their ability to pay rent or follow the lease agreement.

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