Rental application forms are required documents when you manage a property that you want to rent. You cannot be sure that you are renting to someone who has the money to be renting each month, and you should also be sure that the person that you are renting to does not have a criminal record. Rental applications give you the information that you need to be able to check on each renter’s information. You will also be able to have the potential renters sign for permission to run these checks on them.

A tenant application form is an essential form that is needed to care for a property that you are renting. You do not want to run into issues with disagreements between yourself and your renter without any kind of document to protect the details of the relationship. Rental applications need to be written correctly to be used for legal purposes and to protect the relationship between the renter and the property owner.

Rental Application Templates

By State

What is a rental application?

A rental application will vary by state, but the included information usually does not vary much. You will need to check on the regulations that are related to rental contracts in your state to be sure that you are compliant with laws and limitations for your region. The basic nature of this agreement will not change, but there might be some specifics that need to be added to your rental application for your unique situation.

Rental applications are filled out by prospective renters so that the property manager can assess the following factors:

  • Ability to pay the rent
  • Prior criminal history, if any
  • Issues with bad credit
  • Problems in the past with other rentals
  • Information about the people that will be living at the property

Rental applications are filled out by the person looking to rent a property and then double-checked by the renting entity or property owner via a background check. This ensures that both parties are clear about the nature of the arrangement between them and that the person who wants to rent is eligible to do so. Rental companies and landlords want to be careful not to agree to move someone into their properties who will bring with them criminal activities or who have proven to have trouble paying rent in the past.

Rental Application Forms

What are credit references on a rental application?

When you are creating a printable rental application that you will use for all of your renters who want to rent with you, you need to disclose that you will need to pull their credit and that you will need credit references as well. Credit references might be more necessary if someone is renting for the first time or if someone who wants to rent has had bad credit or problems making rent payments in the past. However, on most applications, credit references are required for everyone who applies for a rental property.

This is one of the ways that property owners can verify the payment history of an applicant. The credit references are usually other businesses or other landlords who can vouch for payments that were made on time and the creditworthiness of the applicant. This can make a big difference if someone has had challenged credit in the past. It can take more than a year for improved payment behavior and history to show up on a credit report, so these additional references can go a long way toward helping someone get into a rental if they have had some issues in the past that they have recovered from financially.

Tenant Application Forms

How long does a rental application take?

This process can take a bit of time, even if the rental process is done online with an online form. There is a lot of information that needs to be added to these forms, and applicants need to be careful to be thorough and complete in the information that they add to the form. The rental application process usually takes about half an hour at a minimum, and then it can take up to a week for background checks and other documentation to come back to the landlord for approval or denial.

Renters will need to allow for at least one week after turning in the application to hear back about whether or not they have been approved to rent at the location in question. The process can be longer than a week if there are issues with getting a hold of the renter’s credit report or problems with the background check process being slow. Most background checks are done by third parties, so this can add a significant delay to the rental approval process that the landlord cannot control.

What happens after you have filled out the rental application?

The rental application process can be completed in one day in most cases. Once the application is completed, the landlord or rental entity will take the application and use the information that is listed on it to run a background check and to check references. Some companies will also check people’s social media and other information that is posted about the person online. This information cannot be used to make a determination about the rental application unless there is a disclosure in the rental application that states that this information will be used for determinations about rent eligibility.

Landlords have to comply with the rights of renters or potential tenants per the state that they operate a rental in. There are guidelines regarding the way that the application process is completed and also about security deposits and other parts of the process that is involved. The security deposit is usually collected when the application is considered approved, but there might need to be a hold deposit placed on the property before the application has been reviewed to be sure that you are first in line for the rental.

Printable Rental Applications

How to fill out a rental application

The rental application will need to be filled out with accurate information, and none of the fields can be left blank. Renters need to take the time to make sure that they have completed the whole form, or they could have to deal with delays in the approval process due to errors in their application completion process.

Applicant Information

All of the applicants who are going to be applying to rent the property in question must put their full legal name on the form as well as their social security number, phone number, driver’s license number, and email address. Most forms will also ask for the state that your driver’s license was issued. All of the various details in this section of the document are critical to running an accurate credit report and getting verifiable information about the person trying to rent from a landlord.

Make sure that all the information is correct in this section. If the credit report that is pulled is not yours, you could run into delays due to the errors in the form that you will want to avoid. Be aware as well that some common names can pull back many results within the credit bureau’s databases, which can lead to problems with your credit being confused with someone else’s credit.

Residence History

This section is made to allow renters to state where they have rented in the past and to make sure that the information about this other rental history can be verified. The contact information for the rental company needs to be complete and accurate so that your references can be verified. If you are not sure about the information that is related to these rentals, you might need to double-check. Having references that are not useful can lead to your rental application being denied. At the least, it can delay the process of being approved, which most people do not want to have to deal with.

Employment History

This is one of the parts of the form that must also have verifiable and correct information on it. Landlords need to be able to tell that you are gainfully employed so that you can pay your rent. They might also use this information to check on the other things that you have stated in your application. The HR department at your company can verify that you are currently working for them so that your landlord can be sure that you do have a job.

Financial Information

This is the section of the document where you will put your checking information if you are going to allow your landlord to take an automatic draft for your rent each month. You might not want to do this, but you will still need to indicate where you have a bank account so that this information can be verified and so that your rent checks can be processed each month correctly.

This section of the contract might also ask if you have ever had a bankruptcy. You need to be honest in this part of the document. This is easily verified information, and lying about this part of your history will probably lead to the denial of your rental application. You will need to be honest if you have ever been convicted of a crime as well. This information is also easily verified, and not every landlord will be concerned about old arrest history or other kinds of minor problems in someone’s past. You need to give your landlord the chance to approve or deny your application based on honest information, or you will run into issues with the denial of your application simply because you lied.


You will need to sign the document to indicate that you agree to have your credit verified and to be sure that you have signed off stating that you agree to rent the property if the application is approved.

House Rental Applications

Rental Applications Can be Easy to Fill Out

Rental applications can look really intimidating when you first see them, but once you have filled one out, you will see that they are not so hard to complete. There is no reason to miss out on a great rental opportunity just because the application process is a bit longer than you would like. Remember that the rental agency or the landlord wants to try and make sure that they are moving in people who can afford to rent the property and can care for it, which is why a series of checks is a good idea. You should not feel singled out for this treatment, as everyone who wants to rent the property will be expected to do the same thing.

Rental applications are standardized in part based on the rules and regulations for renting in your state. You can be more prepared to fill out one of these forms if you do some research into the state laws and regulations related to renting in your area. You want to be sure that you are filling out a correct and legal form when you do apply for a place you want to rent.

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Tagged:ApplicationReal EstateRentalResidential
TemplateLab October 28th, 2022
Ryan Duffy
Ryan Duffy