November 28, 2023 • 9 min read
If you've ever played the matchmaking game between your rental property and the perfect tenant, you know that getting it right requires more than just luck. That's where the magic of a rental verification form comes in.
Finding your perfect renter is a lot like fitting together a large and complicated puzzle. Not only will you have trouble fitting those pieces together without the right rental verification form, but you’ll likely be missing some puzzle pieces altogether! You need a consistent, clear, and well-put-together rental verification form to find the best-fit renters for your properties and improve your rental application process. But where do you start?
This post is here to be your Rental Verification Form 101! We’ll walk you through the basics, then provide you with an easy-reference checklist of the elements you must include on your form.
Before we get into the details and our checklist, let’s start with the basics. What is a rental verification form and why is it important for landlords and property managers like you?
Think of a rental verification form as the dossier of your prospective tenant's history. It's a comprehensive document designed to compile vital details about their past rental experiences, credit history, and criminal background.
Now, picture this scenario: You have a whole stack of rental applications awaiting your review. You need to identify the most dependable and trustworthy tenant from this pool — and quickly, because every day your property sits vacant is money out of your pocket. This is where the rental verification form plays a pivotal role. It offers a means to corroborate the information applicants provide on their rental applications.
In the modern rental market, landlords like you have options regarding rental verification forms. You can stick to the conventional route with paper forms… but this option might give you more headaches than it is worth. Digital tenant screening solutions can help you gather data more quickly, easily, and securely while saving on printing costs.
With this in mind, let’s dig into the essential elements and sections every rental verification form should include.
When crafting a rental verification form, the first step is to gather the fundamental details about your prospective tenant.
Start by requesting their full legal name. This might sound obvious, but it's essential for formal documentation and the background check you’ll run later in this process. Next, you'll want their contact information, including a phone number and email address. Collecting this data upfront ensures you can reach them easily when needed.
Additionally, collect their date of birth for identification purposes. Don't forget to ask for their social security number or an equivalent identification number, which can be crucial for background checks and verifying their identity. Lastly, make sure to note down their current address. All of this basic information sets the foundation for a comprehensive rental verification process and helps safeguard against rental application fraud.
Now, let's dive into the tenant's rental history. This section gives you valuable insights into their past as a tenant. Request the names and contact details of their previous landlords or property managers. Armed with this information, you can inquire about their rental history directly.
Ask for the dates of their previous rentals to establish a clear timeline. Find out about their rent payment history, including whether they made payments on time or incurred any late fees. Understanding why they left their previous rental properties is also crucial; it can reveal if they have a history of breaking leases prematurely or consistently following through.
Lastly, inquire about any lease violations or damages during their previous tenancies, which can help you assess their responsibility as a tenant. This comprehensive rental history section is vital for making informed decisions about your applicants.
Next, you will want to delve into the employment and income details of your prospective tenant. Start by asking for their current employer's name and contact information. This information is a common rental criterion that is key for confirming their current employment status and getting in touch for employment verification if needed.
You should also inquire about their job title and position. Understanding their role can provide insight into their stability and ability to meet financial commitments. Don't forget to ask about their monthly or annual income, which helps gauge their financial capacity to pay rent on time.
Additionally, find out how long they've been with their current employer, as longer job tenures can indicate stability. Lastly, if applicable, inquire about any additional sources of income. This holistic view of their financial situation helps ensure they can comfortably pay the rent you’re charging.
Now, let's discuss a critical aspect of the rental home and apartment screening process — background checks. First and foremost, remember that requesting authorization for background and credit checks is essential.
Obtaining consent from your applicant allows you to access information like their credit report and criminal history, ensuring your property's safety and financial security. It's crucial to obtain the tenant's consent for obtaining consumer reports. This consent grants you the legal right to perform these checks, protecting both your interests and theirs.
You may also want to include a section here allowing the applicant to self-report any crimes or credit challenges that may appear in their background and credit checks. This section allows them to build trust and provide context.
As you build your rental verification form, don't forget to account for those extra details that can make a difference. Consider adding fields to gather information about any pets or additional occupants. Knowing the number and types of pets helps you with pet screening efforts, and understanding the number of occupants ensures compliance with occupancy limits.
Request vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers to track who is parking on your property. This vehicle data can be vital for security and organization. Finally, gather names, contact information, and the relationship of personal references who can vouch for the applicant's character and reliability. These references offer valuable insights into the tenant's trustworthiness, reliability, and ability to be a responsible tenant.
The final section of your rental verification form is all about formalizing the process. Have the applicant confirm that they have read and understood the lease agreement terms. This step ensures they are aware of their responsibilities and obligations as a tenant, reducing potential misunderstandings down the road, and giving you a paper trail if there is trouble in the future.
Encourage them to provide a statement affirming that their information is accurate and truthful. Finally, provide a space for the applicant's signature and completion date. Their signature indicates their consent to the verification process and their commitment to the potential lease agreement. This section wraps up the form with clarity and formality, setting the stage for a smooth and secure rental arrangement, should the applicant prove to be a good fit for your property.
Following this simple guide and handy checklist, you should have everything you need to create a rental verification form that gets you all the data you need upfront!
However, in the modern age, paper forms and emailed PDFs are inconvenient for your applicants and challenging for you to maintain and store. What’s the solution? Bringing your rental verification forms and processes online!
Intellirent offers an incredibly user-friendly platform. You can create a verification form and send it to an applicant within minutes. Then, you’ll receive their information and documentation in our secure portal, giving you organization, simplicity, and peace of mind all in one!
See our product tour today to explore Intellirent and see if it’s the right tool for you!
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