There are a few key fields to include in any house rental application. Even though you may choose to add a lot more just for your own information, here’s a list of the most important.
Full, Legal Name
Some people get used to going by a nickname. But even if it’s part of their full name (such as a Matthew who goes by Matt), make sure they’re filling out the rental application form with the same name as shown on their driver’s license, social security card, etc.
Full Social Security Number and Date of Birth
Do you have to do a credit check on a potential tenant? Of course not- but it’s highly recommended.
A credit check is a landlord’s best indicator of how responsible a tenant may be with finances. Poor credit shows a history of poor decisions, which may mean being unable to pay the rent or damages if they aren’t kind to the property.
Phone and Email
In case of an emergency, you need to be able to reach your tenants at any time. That said, your tenants will likely prefer contact through email for most communications.
Can you finance a car without having any kind of income? Probably not. Likewise, you shouldn’t let someone rent without proving they have a stable job, either.
Of course “stable job” is relative, but here are a few things to look for:
- High income
- Respected employer
- Tenure with the employer (hopefully at least 2 years)
It’s also a good idea to get info on the tenant’s last employer from your rental application.
The reason you need a list of the occupants on your house rental application is fairly straightforward. You want to make sure your house isn’t too crowded, nor would you want 1 person with a low income to be living there without help to pay the rent.
Previous Landlord Contact Info
This is, like the credit check, all about seeing how the tenant acts on a daily basis.
Do they pay their rent on time? What was their rent at the last rental?
Did they take great care of the rental? Everything from carpet to kitchen appliances?
Did the neighbors complain about the tenant? Maybe the dog barked constantly or there were loud fights on a regular basis?
Just remember that how the person acted before is a good indicator of how they’ll act as your tenant.
Some furry creatures weigh 100 pounds and do zero damage to a rental property. Others weigh 2 pounds and can scratch doors and walls, stain the carpet and chew up door frames and cabinets.
It’s important to find out if the tenant has pets so you can get a better expectation for damages to remedy later on. Both the type and size of pet matter.
Emergency Contact Information
Hopefully you never need this- but it’s critical to have it on your rental application just in case. Whether it’s a natural disaster, health, financial or any other kind of issue, you may need to get in contact with your tenant’s loved one quickly.
Last but not least, you need an area on your house rental application for the potential tenant to authorize the background or credit check. This should include:
- The property address
- The amount paid by the applicant (to cover the credit check fee)
- The amount of rent per period (month, week, etc.)
This is important because you want it in writing that the applicant authorized you to perform the background check and screen them!