Rental Applications

A rental application is an important tool for a landlord to screen potential tenants and to protect himself/herself against any discrimination charges. The rental application will show that the landlord did not discriminate the residents based on disability, race, nationality, sex, religions, and age.

The landlord can legally choose any of the tenants depending on:

  • Good employment history
  • Good recommendations from past landlords
  • Sufficient income to pay the rent

Rental Application Process

It is important for the landlord to insist on a written copy to support the decision in case the applicant challenges the outcome of the application. The golden rule is to be consistent in all requests. If they decide to do a credit check on one applicant, then it is advisable to do so for all prospective tenants. Similarly, a landlord should not insist on a higher security deposit with one candidate versus others. Also, they should not demand a higher salary for certain prospective tenants and not others. All the tenants should be judged on the same merits.

The landlord should state on the form that the qualification to be a tenant will be on a first come, first serve basis so the tenants can include the date and time of the application. This procedure will enable the landlord to choose the tenant with clear transparency. The tenants should follow these important tips while writing their rental application:

  1. Be thorough and organized
  2. Attach all the supporting documents
  3. Double check the contact information
  4. References should be ready and available

As soon as the tenants pass the application process, the landlord should notify them immediately. This is not the end of the screening process. Both the tenant and the landlord should enter the process of signing the lease. Tenants should understand all the rules and regulations. If things are not going well, then the tenant should not go ahead and sign the lease.

If the landlord rejects the application of the tenant, which may be based on the credit report or other issues, the landlord should notify the tenant immediately. It is important to do so in writing in case it is needed as evidence in the future. The application rejection letter should include the following:

  • Main reason for rejection
  • Details of the agency that offered the credit report
  • A statement that shows the company did not take any decision in taking the adverse action.
  • Notice to the rejected tenant that he/she can take the copy of the report within 60 days.

A landlord can also turn down the rental application if the prospective tenant provides false information, information that is negative or cannot be verified, if there is negative information from a past landlord and also inadequate information such as the history of rent payments.

Importance of rental application

  • It offers the best protection to the landlord in case one is charged with discrimination
  • It helps the landlord to have emergency contact details in the event of a problem or default in payment.
  • The landlord can keep the deposit in case the tenant damage the property
  • Provides a chance for tenant to make an excellent impression on landlord

While collecting information from the prospective tenant, the landlord should have a clear purpose that is only relevant to tenancy. The landlord should secure applicant information in a safe place where no one else can access it. The tenant also has the right to correct and access the information if there is a need to change it.

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