What Is an Application Even For?

by Andrea West

Posted on 2017-07-24 12:05:13

It’s easy to find rental applications. Many property management software companies, like Smart Housing, have them available for the landlord’s convenience; you can go to your local apartment association to find one to use; or you can Google ‘free rental applications’ and pull up millions in less than a second.

But have you ever considered why you are asking your applicants for this information in the first place?

Since you are dealing with sensitive personal information, you should. Here we have listed for you some of the questions/info found on basic applications to rent and why obtaining the information would be useful.

  1. Resident Criteria - this is a list for the applicant that tells them what parameters the landlord will use when selecting residents.
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  2. Basic Information - such as name, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, address, email address, and cell phone number. This is the mother lode of information that a landlord needs. Here is where applicants list their contact information so that you can let them know if there is anything else they need to submit with the application and also if they have been approved or declined for tenancy. The basic information is also what you need in order to run a background check and screening.
                           application 2.PNG 

  3. Added Information- 
      a. Vehicle - if you need to know for parking purposes
      b. Work History - know if they're employed and have income to pay rent
      c. References - if you would like to interview people who know the applicant to verify applicant's character
      d. Evictions - this is something that will show in their background check, but it can be useful to ask ahead of time, also lets you check their honesty with you
      e. Criminal History - see Evictions above
                        application 3a.PNG application 3b.PNG applications 3c.PNG 

  4.  Signature - an agreement should be listed at the bottom of the application that the applicant is signing to. This asks them to sign that the information they provided is correct and also states what the landlord is allowed to use the information for, namely to run a background check and screening and to determine acceptance for tenancy.
                           applications 4.PNG 

Look over the application template that you use. Are you asking for all of the information that you need? Are you asking for information that you don’t need? Adjust accordingly. Are you asking for information that discriminates as listed with Equal Housing Opportunity guidelines? Get rid of it. The tenancy application is an important tool so make sure that you are using it correctly.