Landlord Blog

Education and news for smart DIY landlords!

Essential Questions to Ask in a Rental Application

After you tour a prospective tenant around the rental, you’re now ready to give the person the rental application for him to complete. If you’re here because you still haven’t prepared this basic document, Landlord Prep will show you the essential questions that must be found in the form.

Remember that the application is so important in that it helps you evaluate whether or not a person is a good fit for your rental property. Therefore, it must contain the right rental application questions that build a realistic profile of all prospective tenants. Let’s get started.

Must-Ask Rental Application Questions

1. Basic applicant details

Of course, a prospective tenant needs to provide his personal information. This includes his name, current address, and birth date. Some landlords ask for copies of social security cards while others simply ask for the social security number. Note that this is only optional.

2. Rental history

You are to check a prospective tenant’s previous rental experience if this isn’t his first time to rent. In the application, ask the previous landlord’s complete name, rental address, phone number, email, and monthly rent amount. Use the details to contact the landlord to learn more about the tenant applicant. Does he pay rent on time? Does he keep the rental clean? What about his behavior? These are some of the questions to ask a previous landlord.

3. Employment and income

You want to know if a person can afford the monthly rent by looking into his income. Where does his money come from? Are there other sources of income? The rental application questions in the employment history and income section should also ask for the current employer’s name, address, the number of years employed, and the applicant’s title. Details about a previous employer must also be gathered.

4. Pets

Many renters are also proud pet owners. Being a landlord who welcomes pets helps you attract more tenants. In the pet section of the application, let the applicant specify the dog breed and size, as well as attach pet photographs. The photos must reflect all the animals named in the application. You can also ask the prospective tenant to email his pet photos to you.

5. Bankruptcy

Has an applicant ever filed bankruptcy? While gathering such details is not a requirement, financial insecurity may compel you to confirm the applicant’s current financial status. As a landlord, you want to have peace of mind knowing that your tenants get to fulfill their responsibilities.

Need a Rental Application Template?

Thank you for checking out this guide. Keep in mind that you need to gather the same information from all tenant applicants. This requires you to have a template which you can print out for everyone. Here at Landlord Prep, we offer a complete video course that offers essential templates you use throughout your landlording business, including the rental application. Get the course here and be a confident and knowledgeable landlord!