In the past we have talked about the Rental Application. CHBO now has an updated Documents Library available for FREE in your CHBO DASHBOARD. These documents are now available both as PDFs and as Google Docs to allow you to copy, paste and edit these to best meet the details of your state, your property and your personal preferences. Login at CHBO to start using these documents today.
A rental application should include all the basic information about your prospective tenant, including their name, address, ss#, driver’s license number, employer, previous landlord, as well as the opportunity for them to disclose any previous arrests and/or convictions.
Landlords should treat that information confidentially and run a credit check and/or background check on each tenant. This step is crucial to protecting your property from unruly tenants who may not have disclosed their credit or rental history in full. You want to make sure the applicant is not only who they say they are, but also that they are able to pay your rental fee on a consistent basis.
Further, many landlords wonder if they should charge applicants an application fee. We recommend you do so – but only enough to cover the costs of your credit and/or background check. You should specifically note the application fee total on the application form, as well as ask them to include a check or their credit card information. (Make sure you can accept credit cards – it will make this process run more quickly and efficiently.)
On the application, you will also want to allow them to authorize you to use their social security number to run a credit and/or background check. You can also ask them to initial if they certify that the application is truthful. A standard lease application will provide the proper language, as well the sample lease application CHBO makes available for its members to use.
Further, make sure your lease application provides a return fax number – so the applicant knows exactly where to send the application once completed.
Remember, a rental application is a crucial first step that mustn’t be skipped. This is your opportunity to weed out any potential difficult tenants and feel confident renting to the ones that rise above the rest.
In our next post, we’ll be talking about rental lease agreements.
RENTER TIP! If you’re a prospective tenant, you’ll want to make sure your credit history is good. Do a check yourself to make sure there aren’t any false or unresolved issues. Also, you’ll want to fully disclose your criminal background and explain yourself upfront. You’ll likely save yourself from being disqualified before such issues become raised red flags.