What Should Be on a Rental Application Template?
A good application form collects all the need-to-know information about potential renters and allows you to make an informed decision about whether to approve an application.
Forms typically include:
- Name and address: You will need the applicant's full legal name and current address.
- Contact information: By collecting the phone number and email address, you can contact the renter when needed.
- Driver's license or Social Security number: The driver's license or Social Security number may be needed to open an escrow account for the security deposit or evict a renter if things go poorly. It's best to collect this information upfront, so you have it in case you ever need it.
- Rental history: A rental history allows you to see whether someone moved frequently and provides contact information for past landlords, so you can check references. Collect five years of rental history.
- Employment history/proof of income: You will need proof of income or employment history to determine whether a tenant can afford to pay for the apartment. Documents that prove employment could be pay stubs, a W-2 form or an offer letter from a new employer.
- Informed consent: Since you may be contacting past landlords, current or previous employers, or other references, it's important that your application informs renters of this information and gets their consent via signature. This protects you and lets them know what they can expect if they complete the application to rent.
- Deal breakers: It's a good idea to ask about any deal breakers for your rental - for instance, whether someone smokes or has pets, if those things are prohibited.
- Criminal history: You may wish to ask about a criminal history, such as whether someone has ever been convicted of a crime or whether someone has been evicted before.
- General Release: Request signed permission to run a tenant background check. Doing so will allow you to legal order a tenant screening report which may include criminal, eviction, and other pertinent data about the applicant.
Download a Customizable Rental Application From American Apartment Owners Association
When you have a customizable rental form, you can send every applicant the same comprehensive form and avoid any allegations of discrimination or favoritism. A comprehensive form also turns away unqualified renters, who know they wouldn't pass your background check.
Rather than create your own application to rent, download a customizable rental application form from American Apartment Owners Association. Our forms are easy to complete. They're also vetted by real estate experts and lawyers, so you can rely on their accuracy. Many forms are free for AAOA members, who receive other perks.