Process Tenant Application Checklist

Use the Process Tenant Application Checklist™ once you’ve received a fully executed Rental Application to process your prospective Tenant or Tenant Buyer’s application to rent your property.

If you think about your tenant’s renting your property as them borrowing the value of your property from you, you’ll do a much better, and more appropriate job of screening them. It is very different to screen someone for borrowing $250,000 from you (the typical value of a home in Fort Collins) rather than just paying you $1,500 Security Deposit and $1,500 per month in rent.

  1. For each adult that submitted a Rental Application you need to call:
    1. To verify their job
      1. Find out when you call the job who the “supervisor” is and talk to them. Do not assume that they gave you their correct supervisor’s name.
    2. To verify their income
    3. To verify their references
  2. Before starting formal application complete the following searches on each of the tenants to try to find out as much as we can about them:
    1. Google search for their name and read what you can find
    2. Search for them on Facebook and read what you can find
    3. Search for them on Twitter and read what you can find
  3. If we are not receiving a deposit of at least 10% of the purchase price (which hardly ever happens with a straight rental), then we need to pull a Credit Report.
  4. We always do a Criminal Background Check regardless of the deposit amount.
  5. Use the Application Evaluation Score Sheet and our score system below to complete the tenant screening process:
    1. Income
      1. Income more than 3 times rent – 10 points
      2. If income must be combined with another person to reach 3 times rent – 5 points
      3. Insufficient income – 0 points
    2. Current Employment Verification
      1. Good reference – 10 points
      2. Mediocre reference – 5 points
      3. Bad or no reference – 0 points
    3. Previous Employment Verification
      1. If with current employer less than 3 years use the following for the previous employer:
        1. Good reference – 10 points
        2. Mediocre reference – 5 points
        3. Bad reference or unable to get reference due to not having the information OR the business no longer existing – 0 points
      2. If with the current employer for 3 years or more, then they get 10 points for Previous Employer Verification for that.
    4. Payment History with Current Landlord Verification
      1. Good reference – 10 points
      2. Mediocre reference – 5 points
      3. Bad or no reference – 0 points
    5. Abided By Rules with Current Landlord Verification
      1. Good reference – 10 points
      2. Mediocre reference – 5 points
      3. Bad or no reference – 0 points
    6. Payment History with Prior Landlord Verification
      1. Good reference – 10 points
      2. Mediocre reference – 5 points
      3. Bad or no reference – 0 points
    7. Abided By Rules with Prior Landlord Verification
      1. Good reference – 10 points
      2. Mediocre reference – 5 points
      3. Bad or no reference – 0 points
    8. Credit Report
      1. No collections, evictions or negative entries – 10 points
      2. Less than 3 collections or negative entries AND no evictions – 5 points
      3. Any eviction AND/OR more than 3 collections or negative entries – 0 points
    9. Review 3 Months Statements – Checking Account
      1. No returned checks – 10 points
      2. Less than 2 overdraft charges in 3 months – 5 points
      3. No checking account or more than 2 overdraft charges in 3 months – 0 points
    10. Review 3 Months Statements – Savings Account
      1. Average of 3 months savings account exceeds 2 times rent amount – 10 points
      2. Average of 3 months savings account is less than 2 times rent amount – 5 points
      3. No savings account at all – 0 points
    11. Interviewers Impression
      1. Good reference – 10 points
      2. Mediocre reference – 5 points
      3. Bad or no reference – 0 points
  6. In the event that they do not qualify, but have marginal scores, we may be willing to rent to them with an additional security deposit (or Option Fee in the case of a Lease Option or additional Non-Refundable Purchase Deposit in the case of a Rent To Own)
  7. If they are approved, use the Lease Signing Ceremony Checklist™ (page 171) and Create Tenant File Checklist.

Process Tenant Application Checklist Description

It is critically important to avoid legal troubles with the Fair Housing Laws that you have a written procedure for processing tenant applications. You need to have a standard formula for approving and declining tenants and actually follow your own procedures.

The Process Tenant Application Checklist™ should help you establish a good procedure for you to follow.

Make sure you write down the score you give each tenant whose application you are processing and keep a copy of it in their file whether they are approved or not in case they decide to take legal action saying they were discriminated against when applying.

Related Resources To Process Tenant Application Checklist™

Fill Vacancy Checklist
Screening Tenant ChecklistLease Signing Ceremony Checklist™ →

See also…

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