Renting out property is a great way to make extra money, especially if you already own the property, but the legalities, and the paperwork, can be difficult and confusing when you’re just getting started. One of the first places you have to start is marketing, but once you do that, you need a way for tenants to apply for renting your property, and you need those applications to give you enough information that you can logically evaluate their candidacy and qualifications for the unit in question. This applies whether you’re renting out your own home, renting out a room, or have a large apartment building full of units. These tips from Woodinville Property Management are here to get you started with creating your own rental application form.

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What is a Tenant Application Form?

A tenant application form is the form that you create to allow possible tenants to express interest in renting. You can upload it online, accept online applications, create a printable version, or make it available in your office or at another location depending on your specific needs. You can also mail it out to people who call you and express interest. Each of these has their own pros and cons depending on how professional you are as a manager, and how many rental units you have available, but the more available the form is, the more applications you will get.

What Should Be Included in a Tenant Application Form?

The first and most important thing you should ask before you write up a tenant application form is what do you need to know about the tenant before giving them the keys. Financial data, previous history, and proof of income should immediately come to mind.

The following includes a list of items that you should include on every tenant application form.

Previous Home

  • Where did you previously live?
  • Address and Contact Details of Previous Landlord
  • Why did you leave your previous residence?
  • Was the rent paid in full?
  • Did you give notice before leaving?
  • Last rent amount paid?
  • Names in which your utilities are paid
  • Utility companies
  • How long do you intend to stay here?

Income and Job

  • Where do you work
  • How long have you held this job?
  • How many jobs have you held in the past five years?
  • Why did you leave your past job?
  • 2-5 job references
  • The name and phone number of a manager or boss
  • Proof of income (bank statements, payroll slips, etc.)
  • Credit History
  • Bank names and amount of money in the bank
  • Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If so, when?
  • Have you ever been served a late rent notice?
  • If you run into financial difficulty in the future, do you think you can handle the rent? If so, for how long?
  • Have you been party to a lawsuit in the past?
  • We reserve the right to run a criminal and credit background check. Is there anything you want to comment on?

Prospective Tenants

  • Number of people intending to stay
  • Names and social security numbers of each person intending to stay
  • Birth dates, age, gender, etc. 
  • Any application fee (such as $20 per adult)
  • Vehicles owned by tenants
  • References and Emergency Contacts

General

  • Do you or anyone staying smoke
  • Do you want to refer any friends or family to an apartment with us?
  • Do you have an email address so we can get in touch?
  • Do you own any pets? Breed/Type/etc.

Special Considerations – If you do not accept pets then you should list this information, visible, on the tenant application form. By listing any restrictions or requirements on the application form, you will cut down on the number of unsuitable candidates. List items like “no smoking” and similar visibly on the top, in bold.

Legal Requirements for a Tenant Application Form

The tenant application form is the most important part of the tenant application and screening process, not only because it allows the tenant to give you information about them, but they also have to sign a permission slip or waiver allowing you to look into them. Include a clause about using their information to screen them, run a background check, and a credit check, and make sure that they sign the document.

Once signed, the document also tells you which people are intending to live in the apartment. You should usually institute a policy of having each adult over 18 years old submit their own application form, unless they are a married couple.

Getting Help with Property Management in Woodinville

It is important to know the basics of real estate and landlord tenant law before renting property in Woodinville, and creating a tenant application form is just the beginning. If you don’t have time, or need help, consider contacting Woodinville Property Management for a free quote on managing all of the details of your rental property. 

Posted by: eirikolsen on November 10, 2015
Posted in: General