Tenant screening is an integral part of leasing real estate. The process includes collecting information from the applicants and making an educated decision on whether or not to lease the property to them. Using a rental application form for this purpose will help you easily obtain and organize information from potential tenants.
What Is a Rental Application Form?
In essence, a rental application form is a digital or paper document that a landlord uses to assess an applicant. It includes questions about the applicant’s employment status, credit, and other background information. The purpose of this formis to provide the landlord with an overview of all information relevant to their decision whether or not to accept a tenant.
What Information Should You Ask for in Your Rental Application Form?
The information you want to collect with your rental application form can be broken down into a couple of categories:
Information About the Property
Always include property details in the rental application form. This will help you avoid any confusion on the applicant’s part and make sure they understand all leasing terms. These details include the address, rent and security deposit amounts, as well as any limitations. Try to be as clear as possible regarding your terms since this should ensure only people who agree to them will apply.
These fields include the applicant’s name, age, contact details, ID, and information about household members and other occupants. This data is essential for performing a background check and making sure they are not misrepresenting themselves. Contact details will also allow you to reach them if you decide to follow-up with additional questions.
The tenant’s monthly income can be an uncomfortable question to ask in your rental application form. However, asking for their employment information shouldn’t be. Once you know where they work and what their position is, you can confirm this info with their employer and get a good idea of how much they make. Apart from knowing their approximate rent/income ratio, you’ll also be able to assess the stability of their income.
Once you’ve collected all these details, you will be much comfortable with making your decision. After all, you want to make sure your tenant will be able to pay the rent regularly and on time.
Other Relevant Information and Policies
Finally, your rental application form can also include virtually any other question that you find relevant. These can refer to pets and vehicles, for example.
If you have a no pet policy, it’s important to be clear about it. You may be OK with your tenant having pets, but in this case, you should know what type of pet they have and how many. Setting clear boundaries in these types of issues can save you from a lot of trouble later on.
When it comes to vehicles, you want to make sure you have enough parking space on your property. Seemingly small details such as these can prove to be dealbreakers in the future, so it’s best to address them right from the start.