The Importance of a Thorough Tenant Application

The ability to successfully acquire tenants for your rental property is directly dependent upon the quality and thoroughness of your tenant screening process. A comprehensive tenant application helps landlords decrease the likelihood of a difficult tenant and mitigate the risk of a problematic tenancy.

While in some jurisdictions legal requirements of a rental agreement vary, there are certain consistencies landscapers must adhere to when screening potential tenants. The Importance of a Thorough Tenant Application is paramount to ensure a successful and profitable rental arrangement.

What Should Be Included in a Tenant Application?

The details which are included in a Tenant Application should address the legal aspects of the tenant/landlord relationship. Following points should be included in the tenant application:

Personal Information:

This should include each adult applicant’s full name, current address, contact information including email address, and date of birth.

Employment Information:

The tenant should provide evidence of their current employment and length of employment, gross monthly income, and contact information for the employer.


The tenant should be required to provide contact information for prior landlords, financial references, and personal references.

Financial History:

The tenant should provide information about their credit score and any debts they are responsible for.

Criminal Background Check:

The tenant should allow the landlord to do a criminal background check, including records of convictions for criminal activity, or a background check involving violent activity.

How to Create and Utilize a Tenant Application

Create the Application:

Landlords or real estate managers can create a Tenant Application using a template from a legal resource center, or a custom-made template tailored to the landlord’s specific requirements.

Utilize the Application:

Once this application has been created, it should be distributed to potential tenants using a rental listing website or local advertisement. Additionally, some rental listing websites have tools which facilitate automatic collection and processing of the information generated by the Tenant Application.

The application should also be reviewed and scored for each prospective tenant, in order to assess their suitability for the rental property. Landlords may also refer to opinions from previous landlords cited in the application in order to determine which tenant should be offered the rental agreement.

Advantages of a Thorough Tenant Application

Financial Security:

When the tenant application is examined thoroughly, landlords are able to identify potential tenants with a stable financial history and mitigate potential risk.

Criminal History:

A thorough Tenant Application allows landlords to conduct a background check on potential tenants and discard applications from individuals with a particularly troublesome criminal history.

General Character Assessment:

A detailed tenant application also helps landlords identify tenants who are potentially difficult to manage. References from prior landlords, personal contacts, and employment agreements may shed light on a tenant’s general bearing and trustworthiness.

The Bottom Line

The importance of a thorough Tenant Application cannot be overstated. Landlords and real estate agents must take the necessary steps to create an in-depth and comprehensive application for potential tenants. The application should evaluate the applicant’s financial and criminal history, and provide insights on their character and suitability for tenancy. Taking the time to properly scope out a potential tenant’s background can save a landlord a lot of time and money by mitigating the risk of a challenging tenant.

By implementing a comprehensive Tenant Application, landlords can rest assured that they are making the best possible decision when selecting tenants for their rental properties. Ultimately, this will make the landlord/tenant relationship successful and profitable for all parties involved.

Many rental history websites and online services have automated tools to facilitate the collection and evaluation of tenant applications. With a thorough Tenant Application process, landlords can now easily determine the best available tenant for their rental property and move forward without worry.

“What should a tenant application include?”

A tenant application should typically include the following:

-Applicant’s full legal name

-Date of birth

-Social security number

-Previous addresses

-Employer’s name and phone number

-Gross monthly income


-Pets or any vehicle information

-Emergency contact information

-Any prior evictions, bankruptcies, or financial judgments

-Consent to a tenant credit and criminal background check

-A valid photo ID

What information do landlords need to include on a tenant application?

A landlord typically needs to collect the following information from a tenant application:

1. Personal information, including full name, contact information, social security number, and date of birth.

2. Employment areas, such as current employment status, occupation, and length of employment.

3. Financial information, including income, assets, debt, and monthly expenses.

4. Rental history, including previous rental property addresses, landlord references, and length of prior tenancies.

5. Emergency contact information, such as name and contact information of emergency contacts.

6. Criminal background check information, with authorization for the landlord to conduct a background check.

7. Pet information, if applicable, such as type and size of pets, vaccination history, and pet owner liability insurance.

“What is the purpose of a tenant application?”

The purpose of a tenant application is to collect information from prospective tenants that can be used by a landlord or property manager to help evaluate if they are qualified and suitable for the rental unit. The application typically includes details about a tenant’s financial stability, credit score, rental history, and criminal background.

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