Residential Rental Applications Legal Forms
Residential Rental Applications FAQ
What is a Residential Rental Application?
Mostly useful from a landlord’s perspective when gathering information on potential tenants, a Residential Rental Application is a document filled out by a potential tenant that lists the basic information and rental history of said tenant. Essentially, a Residential Rental Application is a concrete way for a potential tenant to introduce themselves to their prospective landlords.
Filling out a Residential Rental Application will mean taking a strong look at one’s own rental past, as well as filling out plenty of other identifying information that will be relevant to letting a potential landlord know that you’re a solid prospective tenant.
Why do landlords need this application?
Simply put, unless a landlord has a prior history with you, they don’t know all there is to know. And because they’re taking a risk on you by allowing you to pay rent for a certain property, they have to be sure that renting the property to you is the best decision for their property. Sometimes, property managers will be making this decision on behalf of an owner and aren’t at liberty to take risks on tenants.
Also, there are a number of ways that Residential Rental Applications will factor into the decision regardless of how well the landlord knows you. They have to know that you have the income to support yourself while paying rent (and therefore won’t have troubles making rental payments) and that you have a history of being a good tenant as well.
What kind of laws regulate Residential Rental Applications?
Because it’s illegal to discriminate on potential tenants based on color, religion, gender, disability, etc., it’s important for prospective tenants to remember that they don’t have to fill out anything unlawful in their Residential Rental Application. Any law that prohibits the discrimination of people based on factors like those just listed also apply to Residential Rental Applications.
What kind of variables are asked on a Residential Rental Application?
There are a number of different things you’ll be expected to fill out about you, anyone who might be living with you, and your overall living situation. Here are a few of the fill-in-the-blanks you’ll likely be expected to answer:
- Pets/Vehicles: While some landlords simply prohibit pets on their property, it’s still important for those landlords that do allow pets to understand exactly what kind of animal will be living with you. Sometimes this is as simple as filling out the pet’s name and breed, similar to listing the kind of car you own – both make and model.
- Rental History: Relating your rental history to the landlord helps them understand just where you’ve been renting from in the past and how your previous tenant-landlord relationships went. A stable rental history will help you to get accepted.
- Current employer: Being able to ensure that you have a job is one thing; verifying that you have the means to pay for the rent every month is also of interest to many landlords. Your employer will sometimes be asked to provide proof of your income.
- Spouse, Children, and Other Tenants: A major factor in your living situation, of course, and the situation you’ll be bringing to the new property.
There are a number of other variables that go into a Residential Rental Application, but if you are able to meet the landlord’s requirements on the above, you’ll often stand a good chance at being accepted into the property.
I’m a landlord. What other variables should I include in a Residential Rental Application?
In addition to the variables listed above, here are a few more examples of information that you should look to collect from prospective tenants:
- Credit References: These will be important in ensuring that you will not receive late payments on the rent.
- Personal References: Because you can’t be sure of someone you’ve just met, it’s important that you get personal references in order to “fill in the blanks” on a prospective tenant.
- Prior Behavior: Asking about felony convictions, failure to pay past rent, etc.
- Current Employment: This is crucial to ensuring that your prospective tenant has a stream of income that is congruent with the expenses they will incur by renting from you.
It’s important to note that there are certainly limitations on what you can ask a prospective tenant to put on their application.
Keep away from any hint of discrimination simply by leaving it off the application and using a more standard application for your tenants.
How do I know if I’m being discriminated against in a Residential Rental Application?
It’s against the law for landlords to discriminate against you based on factors such as gender, race, age, religion, etc. If any of these types of questions show up on your Residential Rental Application, you have good evidence that discrimination is taking place.
Do I have to fill out my credit information?
A typical Residential Rental Application might ask for credit or personal reference as a part of your background check. Although it’s normal for them to seek a credit reference, no landlord should be privy to any information that is not their right to see without your permission. Even so, you may grant them written permission for certain inquiries, such as checking with a credit reference or even seeing bank transaction amounts.
Is a Residential Rental Application a contract?
A Residential Rental Application is often considered a form of affidavit, which constitutes a written statement of fact (though affidavits typically require that these are sworn statements of fact). You are not agreeing to anything with the new landlord yet, but you are telling them that what you’ve written is true, which is why it’s so important that you concentrate on providing full and accurate answers whenever you fill out one of these applications.
You won’t be signing a full mutual agreement with your landlord until it’s time to sign the Residential Lease Agreement; anything else they have you sign throughout the process should be treated with skepticism and read in full.