The 5 W's of Rental Applications

by Andrea West

Posted on 2016-05-09 13:07:13

Residential application forms are forms potential residents fill out.

True statement?

Not quite.


The Five W’s


When - Landlords generally get their rental application process going as soon as they know a resident plans to move out.


What - Basically, a form that requests basic information from interested future renters that includes a fee.


Where - Your preference. You can either have interested renters come into your office to fill out the apartment application, which has an added benefit of being able to do a short interview with them at the same time, or you can use online applications, which is an easier option for more people to fill out, especially for those moving from far away.


Who - Those looking for an apartment to rent and are interested in your property. As the landlord, you have the residential application form to help you with the next steps of the process in filling up vacant units.


Why - This is what you need to consider as you draw up your own apartment application or use options available online. Why do landlords use residential tenancy applications? It’s your tool to weed out the residents you don’t want from the residents you do want. This is the point of the tenant screening questions on the rental application. Basic rental applications include questions about-

  • Name and personal information like SSN and birthdate

  • Employment history

  • Renting history

  • References

  • Financial history

With the answers to these questions and written permission, you can now use the application fee to cover the cost and run an online screening on the applicants. Screenings and background checks help you make sure-

  • The applicant is who they say they are

  • That the information they gave you is accurate

  • To determine how reliable they should be about making their payments

  • And get reviews from others about how it is to work with them

This narrows down the pool even further to help ensure that you get the resident you’re looking for. Make the application work for you.