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How to review a completed RentSpree rental application

How to review a completed RentSpree rental applicationHow to review a completed RentSpree rental application
Landlord tips
RentSpree Staff
RentSpree Staff
Calendar
March 21, 2024
time
5
 min read

Summary

When it comes time to evaluate potential applicants, landlords need as much information as possible to make a smart decision. In this article, we'll break down the various components of a completed RentSpree Rental Application and how the information collected can help landlords identify the right pick for their rental property.

Every landlord and property manager wants to secure the best possible tenants—preferably someone who will pay rent on time, but also someone who will be a model tenant for others. While it’s challenging to find the ‘perfect’ tenant, you need both a thorough screening process and require a rental application from every candidate. 

Identifying applicants who aren't the right fit for you and your property starts with a comprehensive rental application. A comprehensive rental application gives you an opportunity to review a tenant’s background and gives renters a chance to prove they’re responsible and financially dependable. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through the types of questions you should be asking applicants and breakdown what information you’ll find on a completed RentSpree rental application.

What questions should you ask on a rental application?

A rental application should include a range of questions to gather comprehensive information about the prospective tenant and gives you a chance to ask questions like:

  • What is your current income and employment status? One of the most important questions to ask an applicant is about their financial health and job security. Collecting this information can help ensure you’re only accepting tenants who are able to pay their rent consistently and on time.
  • Were you ever evicted? If an applicant responds “yes”, make sure you give them an opportunity to explain their situation, especially if the eviction is related to factors beyond their control such as a global pandemic.
  • Are you a smoker? This question is crucial for non-smoking properties. While you cannot deny an application solely due to smoking, applicants should be informed about your non-smoking policies to prevent potential issues.

  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime? By asking this question, you can better ensure the safety of the other tenants and even the property. But keep in mind, some cities may prevent you from asking about an applicant’s criminal record and you also cannot reject a candidate because they answer “yes” to this question. 

Through this process you may learn something about the applicant that may indicate they’re not the most ideal fit. Similarly, the applicant may discover something about the rental they dislike and choose not to pursue the property any further. Either way, it's crucial for you to comply with fair housing laws and local regulations while drafting rental applications, ensuring that questions are relevant to the screening process and are non-discriminatory. 

A closer look at the RentSpree Rental Application

RentSpree’s Rental Application gives you the power to conveniently collect and organize your rental applicants’ information in one platform so you can easily approve the most qualified candidate. Plus, RentSpree’s online rental application can be sent to applicants via email or text and applicants can complete the form from their phone or desktop.  

In the section below, we’ll walk through the different component of RentSpree’s standard Rental Application:

Personal information

Applicants are required to include personal details on a rental application so you can verify their identity. In this portion of the RentSpree application, you'll find personal information including:

  • Applicant's full name
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Government issued ID 
  • ID number
  • Emergency contact

This information is critical because it can help you confirm an applicant is who they say they are and maintain communication with the individual throughout the process and beyond. 

Other information

In this section of the RentSpree application, applicants can share additional information about:

  • Roommates
  • Names and contact information of any co-signers/guarantors 
  • Names and contact information of their rental agent 

Everyone listed on the application as a roommate will also need to complete a background check, a requirement that will help you evaluate the overall financial security of the lease agreement. Including the agent information is also helpful so you can communicate directly and coordinate with the tenant's representative during the leasing process.

Current and previous residence

The information in this section will paint a picture of the applicant’s rental history so you can learn about where they previously and are currently renting from, how long they’ve lived at each property, and how much they paid in monthly rent. When an applicant completes this section, you’ll have access to:

  • What type of property they currently and previously lived in
  • Duration of stay
  • Reasons for leaving
  • Monthly rent and landlord contact information

With this information, you can assess the applicant’s overall reliability as a renter, understand their payment history, and get a sense of what kind of renter they will be.

Current and previous occupation

Understanding an applicant's occupational history helps you evaluate factors such as job stability and financial responsibilities. In this section, you’ll find information like:

  • Work status
  • Employer
  • Job title
  • Gross income 
  • Duration of work
  • Supervisor (or HR manager) details 

This information serves as a good indicator as to whether or not the applicant is financially stable and can meet rent obligations. For example, an applicant with consistent employment and a lengthy income history will likely be able to cover the security deposit, initial rent, and ongoing rent payments. 

When reviewing this information, don’t forget to calculate the applicant’s rent-to-income ratio. Figuring out how much they make in relation to how much you charge for rent will help you determine if an applicant can comfortably afford rent for the length of their rental agreement. 

References

There’s a reason why most, if not all, standard applications request references from applicants: they offer insights into the applicant's character, behavior, and reliability as a tenant. Contacting references can help you gauge the applicant's rental history, employment stability, and overall suitability for the property. In the RentSpree Rental Application, candidates have space to include two references: 

  1. Nearest relative—this can be a family member such as a cousin or parent
  2. Personal reference—this is cannot be a family member and can be a friend, former employer, or even previous landlord  

When you reach out to references, you can also cross-reference details the applicant provided to ensure the accuracy of their claims. Obtaining references enables you to make a more informed decision while mitigating risks associated with leasing to potentially problematic tenants. 

Miscellaneous and additional information

This section of the application is designed for applicants to include additional information about things like pets and vehicles. It’s important to know if an applicant will have a pet or a vehicle so you can notify them of any related pet fees or parking space fees, if applicable. 

Requesting pet and vehicle information also allows you to establish clear and specific terms in the lease agreement which may involve regulations on pet behavior, additional pet deposits, or parking arrangements. 

Why you should choose RentSpree’s Rental Application 

There’s no doubt that rental applications are one of the best tenant screening mechanisms to help you find the best tenants. A rental application acts as a layer of protection that can reveal potential red flags, saving you from future headaches. 

RentSpree is a trusted and convenient choice for landlords, property managers, and agents seeking a hassle-free and online rental application process. We offer a wide range of tenant screening services, including credit reports, background checks, and eviction history, providing you with valuable insights into an applicant's financial and rental history. To see how you can use RentSpree’s Rental Application for your next vacancy, sign up for a demo here.

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