Printable Rental Application Forms & Templates (MS Word)

free rental application form 10

A rental application form is a questionnaire or disclosure form used by the landlord to collect a tenant’s personal and employment information. When you are preparing to rent out a property, you have to make sure that every tenant will submit a rental application form. With the help of this form, the landlord would credit report the potential clients and check their criminal history.

How to screen your tenants and the rental application process?

By placing an ad online or in the newspaper, you will receive first interested potential callers. You will take some basic information at first contact. You should also give your caller some information in return. The main point of contact is a great way to prescreen your caller. Moreover, this clarifies any information that’s not listed in your ad. Don’t be hesitate about being to the point when the caller pre-screening you and your property. It’s a good idea to be clear about specific details up-front. If you think these questions are interrupting then ask them on the rental application form. Let us discuss a few questions that you should ask to callers who are responding to the ad;

Why are they moving?

If answer to this question is having problems with their landlord or a roommate then this acts as a bit of a red flag. The appropriate reasons are looking for a larger space, moving closer to work, or the landlord renting their current property on the market.

When are they plan on moving?

This is surely an important question because you may find someone as quickly as possible. You are losing money every day if the property is not being rented. So, the potential renter who doesn’t want a space for a month or two, it is useless to show a vacant property to him. On the other hand, if your renters need to move tomorrow or the day after then this indicates that they are poor at planning. This would also signal that they are trying to hide about their current situation.

How long do they think they will live at their new rented home?

For a month-to-month rental agreement, some people are looking for.

What is their monthly income?

This is an important pre-screening question for renters. However, some landlords don’t feel comfortable asking this question. Usually, they leave it up to the rental application form.

Do they have references from their current landlord or employer?

This question indicates the renters a heads-up that you will be checking up on them. They have to ensure that they have a good reputation.

How many people are going to occupy the property?

Don’t want a family of four or a group of college students if you have a small or one-bedroom apartment. Take some time and ask how many people want to use the property.

What to do after approving rental applications?

After approving rental applications, you have to draft the lease agreements for your new tenants. The landlords have to familiarize themselves with the following when they start this process;

  • Landlord-tenant rights and responsibilities
  • State rental laws
  • Security deposit regulations

The significance of a rental application form:

If you are renting out a residential property then you must fill out a rental application form by a potential client. It states that they consent to a criminal background check and a credit check. They also consent a fee that will cover the cost of the background check. If an individual who is willing to guarantee rent payments other than a tenant, both of them fill out an application.

Don’t astonish your tenants with a background check or credit check during showing the property. Inform them that all tenants are screened and it is mandatory to check alongside the application form. In this way, you can easily weed out the people who don’t want to commit and don’t have their background checked. In the end, after showing the property, ask them either they are ready for an application form or not.

On the internet, there are several companies who will have a package deal for potential landlords when they are doing a background check. Moreover, if your renters are young and they don’t establish much in the way of credit then you can also verify their income details with the help of references and the name of their employer. You can also get further information that how they get along with others and whether people consider them trustworthy or not.

Income verification is very crucial. The income of tenants should be 3 times the amount they pay in rent. This is because if they have a costly emergency such as a serious illness or car accident then still they can pay your rent. Ensure that they have a savings account and a checking account. Also, they have a good relationship with their creditors. In the financial world’s point of view, this makes them trustworthy.

To screen out certain renters, asking questions of tenants is a great way. By doing this, you can save your time and theirs. Be careful during asking questions and listening to their answers. This will help you to learn a lot about them. Focus on how to speak if they confuse or change the subject. Later on, you can also note down the answers and compare to rental application form. However, if the renter doesn’t meet your financial criteria but if it seems that he is a good match for your property then ask him for a larger deposit. You can also ask if he is willing to go month-to-month with the lease agreement.

The lease agreement contains all the information the renters need to pay you, reach you and the methods for anything rental-related. Check the lease agreement thoroughly to make sure accuracy and terms comply with local laws. You may also see Rent Payment Tracker Spreadsheet.

How to write a rental application?

Let us discuss step-by-step on how to write a rental application;

Fill in property address details

You have to include the date of application and property address at the top of your application.

Give applicant basic person details

The applicant has to provide their important identifying information;

  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security number
  • Phone number(s)
  • Email address
  • Driver’s license number

Provide tenant rental history

It is important to ask your potential tenants to give their past residence history;

  • Complete address
  • Dates of residency
  • Rent price and due date
  • Rent payment conditions
  • Reasons for moving
  • Landlord/manager name and contact information
  • Prior evictions
  • Prior broken leases

Collect tenant employment details

You must gather the tenant employment details in order to make sure that whether the tenant can pay the rent reliably or not. You can assess the applicant’s financial stability by using a rental application form. Ask the tenants to give the following details;

  • Current employer and position at company
  • Company address and phone number
  • Name of supervisor
  • Duration of employment
  • Monthly pay

Tenant credit history

To review an applicant’s credit, consider the following information;

  • Bank account details
  • Credit card statements
  • Letter from former landlords to make sure regular rent payments
  • Name of the institution where the applicant has accounts and their current balances
  • Social Security Number
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Consent to a credit check

Get tenant references

You should ask tenants to include references usually past landlords or neighbors. Here, they have to give the following details;

  • Name of reference
  • Contact information
  • Relationship to applicant

Conduct tenant background check

The information given in a background check may vary on the basis of the service provider. However, it usually includes the;

  • Personal details
  • Income statements
  • Credit report(s)
  • Criminal background record report
  • Eviction record report
  • Fraud indicator report
  • Employment history
  • Public record check
  • Rental history check


In conclusion, a rental application form is a helpful document that makes your process of renting out a property consistent and fairly transparent. By signing this form, tenants put in writing that they understand and grant permission for this. So, ensure that every tenant will submit a rental application form.

Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a credit reference on a rental application?

A credit reference on a rental application refers to an individual, organization, or business to whom an applicant had a financial relationship with. Here are the examples of good credit references;

1- Banks
2- Utility companies
3- Previous landlords
4- Local businesses that has provided a payment plan
5- Medical and dental offices

What could happen if you don’t use a residential rental application?

You could cost yourself time and money in case you don’t use a residential rental application for tenant screening and research.

How long does a rental application take for approval?

The approval of rental application generally takes 24 to 72 hours.

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