What to Look for in Rental Applications

Posted by Matthew Lahti on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 10:24pm

To check out a prospective tenant for one of your rentals, you start by having him or her fill out an application. Don't try making one of these forms from scratch because you might miss something. For example, the form has to clearly allow you to check a credit report, background, and criminal history. Download a freebie application from an Internet search and change it to suit your needs. If you use our rental department to manage your properties we have specific forms we use for each applicant.

After the applicant fills the form and returns it to you, make sure every part is filled out completly be an attempt to hide something. Then look for the following.

  • Employers. What's the current job and how long has he or she been there? How many different jobs were there in the past 5-10 years? Frequent job changes do not necessarily show instability if the move is due to higher-paying positions.
  • Income. Is the tenant making enough to pay the rent and living expenses? You also need to look at bank accounts and charge cards, and current balances and monthly payments to determine financial viability.
  • Contact information for current and previous landlords including addresses, rental fees and reasons for leaving. Ask about any gaps in the rental history.
  • Questions related to lease restrictions, such as number of pets and number of occupants.
  • Personal references including names, addresses, phone numbers and relationship.

You're going to have to go through this process with every prospective renter. Or you can spare yourself the inconvenience by hiring us as your property management company. This is all part of our service. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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