Applications are the first step in reviewing candidates for schools and jobs, but they can also streamline the screening process for landlords looking to lease their property. Before you speak with or email a potential renter, you can quickly review rental applications to weed out many of the most unqualified renters.
Selecting good tenants is almost as important as selecting the right employee. Applications can help you do so in a number of ways. Perhaps most importantly, you can screen applicants to see which ones are the most financially stable by asking them to report their salary, how long they’ve held their current position, and who their supervisor is. Then you can follow up to be sure all the information is correct.
You can also ask for references with a rental application. This allows you to talk to former landlords or roommates to see whether the potential tenant paid rent on time, was respectful to neighbors and property, and whether he or she adhered to all the provisions of former leases. Likewise, applications are a quick way to find out whether the applicant intends to keep pets, so you can avoid meeting with someone who must keep a pet and avoid wasting your time.
Applications also notify the applicants up front about important matters such as the monthly rent, the duration of the lease, any deposits due, and that perhaps there will be a background check. This will allow the applicants to screen themselves out because they likely do not want to waste their time applying for a lease they are unlikely to get, for example, because they cannot afford it or because they only intend to live at the premises for half of the actual lease duration.
What to Include
Here are important terms you should include in any rental application:
• Applicant’s job, supervisor, income, and address
• References from landlords and roommates
• Government identification
• Close relatives of the applicant
• Additional details relevant to the approval process
Using applications can decrease the chances you end up renting to a bad tenant, so you won’t have to go through headaches like asking for rent repeatedly or a time-consuming eviction process.
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