The application is the window into your tenant’s life. It is important that you ask the right questions – and don’t ask the wrong ones (see Fair Housing, above.) The following is a list of must-have sections to include and ask on your application:
1. Name, address, phone number, driver’s license number.
2. Social security number and date of birth.
3. Current and past landlords with contact information.
4. Employer and job details with contact information.
5. Have they ever had an eviction filed upon them or broken a lease?
6. Release of information signature
These questions are the most important for knowing the past history of your potential tenant. A good strategy to use is to not ask “have you” but instead “how many” or “when.” This makes it tougher for a tenant to lie. For example, by writing “have you been evicted” a tenant will more easily write “no” than if it said “how many evictions have been filed against you?”
Other Questions to Ask
The following is a list of other questions you may want to ask your tenant to find out more about them:
1. Requested move in date?
2. How many animals do you have and what kind?
3. What may interrupt your ability to pay rent?
4. How many felonies do you have?
5. How many people will be living here?
6. How did you hear about this listing?