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How To Fill Out A Rental Application?

how to fill a rental application

Getting a good home for rent is everyone’s biggest wish. But sometimes we miss out on good homes because of rental application forms. Good homes attract a lot of rental application and the landlord filter out the best possible tenants based on their forms. So, it is absolutely vital for us to fill out the rental application form properly. Properly filling out the form will make you outstand other applicants. There are a few checklists that are very important for the landlord and we must carefully fill out those. A rental application form is something that should not be rushed while filling out. Chances are, you end up filling wrong details while rushing your application. This article will focus on the most important checklists on a rental application form. 

Rental Application Form Checklists

Every landlord uses their own rental application form, but all of them include these vital checkpoints.

1. Personal Information 

One of the first things we see in any kind of form is personal details. This section is used to verify the identity of the applicant. This helps the landlord to verify the identity of the applicant. Also, it gives an idea about who the applicant is. This section of the form generally includes the applicant’s name, social security number, phone number, government-issued ID, and details about other occupants. Also, details of your Co-signer should be mentioned on the form. These details should always be correct. Putting in the wrong details will be a fraudulent activity and you strictly want to avoid it. 

2. Residence History   

The applicant is required to provide details about their current residence. Every landlord wants to know details regarding the current residence of their probable tenant. This is an important part of the tenant screening process and the landlord will ask for your previous residence history. This section of the form consists of details such as your current residence, move-in and move-out dates, your current landlord name, and contact number for reference purposes. The form could also ask you about your reason to move out of your current residence. They will also ask for references from your previous landlords to check your residential history.

3. Employment & Income Information    

This is one of the most important parts while filling out the rental application form. Every landlord wants to verify whether the tenant can pay the rent or not. Whether they earn enough money to afford the house/apartment or not. This section generally includes questions regarding your current employer, your estimated income, and your current position. A landlord would want someone with a steady source of income. So, make sure you fill out the correct information regarding your income sources because sometimes they might call your employer and verify your details and you do not want to be wrong about it. 

4. Pets & Vehicles

Tenants that have vehicles or pets have to specify clearly about that. Most houses only have enough parking for 2 vehicles so it is absolutely necessary for the tenants to specify the number of vehicles they own. So, the landlord can verify if there is enough parking space available for the tenants. Also, regarding pets, some people are allergic to certain types of animals and animal furs so they need to know beforehand about the pets you have. Also, in some states, it is illegal to keep certain animals as pets. So, if you own something like that, you need to specify it clearly on the rental application form. Also, some houses/apartments allow only small dogs and cats and some have a strict “No Pets Policy”. 

5. Miscellaneous

The miscellaneous section may include things such as any previous legal case against you. This section might also ask whether or not you have filed for bankruptcy. It might also ask if you have any water-based furniture like a water bed or an aquarium. Some landlords ask questions regarding your smoking habits. If there are some asthma or other breath-related tenants sharing the property, then that can be an issue. 

Things To Consider While Filling Out A Rental Application Form

Now that you know about the questions and sections a rental application form has and what kind of details the form expects, we move on further to things to consider while filling out a rental application form. Keep in mind these points while filling out a rental application form.

1. Fill Out The Details Honestly

An honest application form is always the best one. You should not fill out fake details in your form to please the landlord. Sooner or later, they are going to find out about it and it might even lead to legal disputes because of deceitful information. Make sure, to be honest about things that are mentioned on the form. Most landlords run a credit check and confirm the details on the form.

2. Provide Authentic Documents

Many applicants provide fake documents to stand out among others. But keep in mind that the landlord will do a check on your document and upon finding that your documents are fake, your application can be terminated. In worst cases, you can also be legally charged for presenting faulty documents. So, make sure to provide authentic documents. Attach the necessary documents with the form. Documents such as salary slips and rent payment history. Some landlords also ask for bank statements for rental applications.

3. Pay the Application Fee

Pay the mentioned rental application fee. Most application fees are in the range of $30 to $50. This is mandatory for all applicants and must be paid at the time of the rental application form submission.

4. Prepare Good References

It’s all about having good references. If you can present good references from your previous landlords, you can have an edge over other applicants. If you have a good record from your previous landlord, it will make it easier for you to get a good impression. Provide proper details of your previous landlords, some Renters like to call and verify your claims.

5. Wait Patiently

After doing all the necessary steps, all you can and should do is wait. You should not constantly call the landlord and disturb them. Sometimes, it takes more than a week to go through and verify all the details from several applicants. So, make sure to give some time and patiently wait for a call. If you have a good application form, you have nothing to worry about. It’ll just be a matter of time before you receive an acceptance call from the landlord. 

Reasons Why a Rental Application Could Be Denied

Out of so many applications, only a few are shortlisted for the final stage. Most of the applications are rejected. But why don’t the applications don’t make the cut? Well, here are some of the most common reasons a rental application is denied by the landlord.

1. Inadequate Income

One of the most common reasons your rental application will be rejected is insufficient income. The landlord evaluates your current income and compares it with the rental price. If they think that you cannot afford the rental, they straight reject your rental application form. No one wants a tenant who cannot afford the rent. 

2. Bad Credit Report

Landlords will run a credit check and find out about your credit report. If you have bad credit, then your application will be rejected. You should be able to prove your financial security to the landlord. And a bad credit report reflects totally opposite of that. However, if you could offer a big security deposit to the landlord, there are chances you can still make the cut. Or, you could find a roommate or a co-signer. 

3. Eviction History

If you have a bad history of evictions, no landlords will want you. After such a long process of selecting a tenant, no one would want their property to be vacated soon again. So, they will most likely avoid people who have a history of early vacating a property. Also, if you’ve had a bad eviction resulting due to disputes, your application is likely to be rejected because landlords would not like someone who causes trouble.

4. Average References

While listing out references, make sure to put the best possible references. It is the best practice to list out your previous landlords, your mentor, or your employer in the reference. These references make strong statements compared to putting references of friends or other irrelevant references. Also, make sure they put in good words about you. 

5. Faulty Information

It is a no-brainer that you should not put in wrong and faulty information on your rental application form. Landlords run a background check of your information and upon finding that you have put in the wrong information they will immediately reject your application. Putting in the wrong information on the rental application is fraudulent activity. Sometimes, people unintentionally write wrong information so it is absolutely necessary to recheck your form for any mistakes. 

6. Someone else got the rental

Sometimes despite doing everything right, your application could still be rejected. The reason being, that someone else got the deal. You can do nothing about it. Upon reviewing forms, the landlord could come across a really good tenant and they could grab the deal. Sometimes, the tenant withdraws from the deal and you could get the deal.

Contact Property Management OKC if you have any queries related to property management or you can call us Mon – Fri from 9 am – 5 pm.


Is it illegal to put faulty information in a rental application form?

It isn’t entirely illegal but most rental contracts have clauses that specify that if any faulty information is found on the form, the contract can be immediately terminated. It may not be illegal but it is unethical to lie, so it is better, to be honest, and upfront about your information.

How much does a rental application fee cost?

An average rental application fee should cost around $30-$50. It is a mandatory fee to be paid while submitting the application.

How long does it take to process a rental application?

There is no exact time to specify but a normal process of rental application could take a few hours to a few days. It all depends upon the number of applications. The higher the number of applications, the longer it takes.



Scott Nachatilo

Hi, I’m Scott Nachatilo and I own a property management company in Oklahoma (OKC Home Realty Services, LLC). We help landlords and real estate investors to manage their property in OKC