Tip of the Month-May 2016

Rental Application Instructions

Source: Landlording-Ninth Edition by Leigh Robinson

Your rental application should be simple to read, simple to follow, brief, and yet thorough.  You do not need Applicants entire life histories to help you decide whether to rent to them.  You might satisfy your idle curiosity by reading those life histories, but they likely would not be any more helpful to you in determining whether you ought to rent to somebody than would the information contained in a simple one-page application.

The application you use should have sections for information on the Applicant’s current and previous tenancies, current and previous jobs, fellow occupants, pets, financial status, (source of income/s), vehicles, Social Security numbers, date of birth, and driver’s license.  If this information is complete, you will have
plenty to consider and check in the next step.

An application should include the name of a person to contact in an emergency.  This information is of no real use now, when you are still trying to decide whether an Applicant would make a good tenant.  Yet, it may prove vital later when the Applicant has become your tenant, and he disappears without a trace, as some are wont to do, fails to show up to pay rent, or dies on the property.  Such things do happen and you ought to be prepared for when they do.  Ask Applicants to disclose any negative information in advance on the application, that you may discuss whether it is important enough to disqualify them from renting your available dwelling.

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This web page was updated on 05/01/2016.