February 06, 2024 • 8 min read
When you select the right tenant for your vacancy, you can start collecting rent checks, bringing in additional income, and covering the costs of owning the property. When you select the wrong tenant, however, you may deal with headaches from damages to evictions. But how can leasing managers tell the good from the bad?
Simple: Tenant screening.
But how can you tell whether the information provided on your tenants’ application forms is accurate? By using a tenant verification form.
You know you need to screen tenants to ensure you bring in high-quality renters who will treat your property well, pay rent on time, and be a safe and productive member of your rental community. And to screen tenants accurately, you need a reliable method to verify the provided information.
This post covers all the basics about building a tenant verification form. We’ll talk about what it is, how to make one, and what fields you need to include.
Let’s begin with some basic information about tenant verification forms. A tenant verification form is crucial for any landlord or property manager. This form is a standardized document used during tenant screening to collect and confirm vital information about prospective renters.
Your tenant verification form is vital to your tenant screening process for several key reasons:
In a nutshell, a tenant verification form is a powerful tool that helps you improve your application screening process, abide by legal requirements, and safeguard your properties from poor-fit renters. With this baseline information in mind, let’s dive into the critical elements of a strong tenant verification form.
The first section you should include on your tenant verification form is the applicant information section. Collect the following information in this section:
Collect identification like a driver's license and social security card to verify your applicant’s name, date of birth, address, and more. You can also require applicants to verify their email or phone through messaging verification practices.
Next, you should collect employment and income information from your applicant. These details help determine their ability to pay rent consistently and on time and ensure a strong renter match. Gather the following information in this section:
Using the information gathered from your applicant, reach out to their employer of record and confirm their dates of employment and other information. You can also employ the help of a background check or tenant screening service to verify this information on your behalf.
Your applicants’ rental history gives you valuable insights into how they behave as a tenant. When asking for rental history details, request the following information:
Using the contact information provided, verify the information provided by your applicant. Check occupancy dates, payment history, and any record of evictions in the tenant’s background. You may also use a background check or tenant screening service to conduct this verification on your behalf.
Aside from employment and income, you’ll want a clear picture of your applicants’ overall financial health. This data can help you understand their ability to meet their obligations as a tenant. Here’s what you’ll want to know:
You must conduct a credit check through a qualified reporting agency like TransUnion to verify your applicant’s financial information. Additionally, you can call the applicant’s credit references or review their bank records for additional information if you feel the credit verification doesn’t provide enough information for you to make an informed decision.
References provide a well-rounded view of the applicant's character and reputation. Consider collecting the following information:
References are a very manual verification process. At this stage, you must call the references provided and verify their statements about your applicant against the information provided on the applicant’s verification form.
You’ll need to run background checks and other processes during tenant screening. As a result, you must obtain the appropriate authorization and consent from your applicants. To obtain consent for your tenant screening process, include a section in your form asking for the following:
Finally, every rental property and property management business is unique. You may need to request information or details not yet listed in this article. Depending on your property and circumstances, you may need to request some or all of the following:
You can verify the accuracy of pet information by asking for photographs of all pets that will be living in the property. Your applicants’ disclosed criminal history will be verified against the criminal background check every landlord should run as part of their tenant screening process.
Your tenant verification form is essential to the success and accuracy of your tenant screening and application process. However, if you really want to improve your operations, you’ll think beyond the paper form and explore online tenant verifications.
Intellirent offers a fully customizable online application. You can build your ideal tenant verification form into our portal, send it off to your applicants with a single click, then receive all the information and documentation back in the form of a standardized Renter Resume.
Check out our product tour today to see how our online tenant verification system can make your property management life easier.
February 06, 2024
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