The housing applications you send out to potential tenants are chock-full of useful information, but that information is only as helpful as you know how to interpret it. Here are a few tips for helping you get the most out of the forms you use to find the best renters possible:
Make sure that you ask applicants for their full legal names, and that you only pull screening reports using those names. It is also a good idea to keep the correct names on file in case you have any problems later that require eviction or collection action.
Date of Birth
Date of birth is a very useful piece of information to have on an applicant’s application because it can help verify identity and can be used in conjunction with other identifying information on an applicant’s background or credit report. In addition, if an applicant claims to be a minor, it’s important to have their date of birth on record so that you can determine whether or not they can legally rent your property.
Social Security Number
Many agents, landlords, and property managers require a social security number on a rental application, but be careful with this one. If you do, and your prospective tenant does not have a social security number, this may be considered discrimination based on national origin, which is illegal.
In an era of sky-high rents and severe shortages, finding affordable housing is challenging for many residents. But it’s even harder for those with a limited income. Many communities are debating or enacting laws to limit application fees in the face of such challenges, including Spokane, Washington, where a man with a disability was forced to stop his months-long search because he couldn’t afford to apply to more places.
Some of the most common issues faced by those seeking affordable housing are a lack of knowledge about how to prepare for and complete an application or a misunderstanding of the requirements set by government-assisted housing providers. To help address these issues, we’ve created several helpful guides for anyone looking for affordable housing. Click on the buttons below to access the guides: “Getting Ready to Apply,” “What to Expect,” and “Calculating Your Income.”