Why Your Lease May Not Be Enough

by Chris on May 23, 2011

When it comes to spelling out a landlord’s rights and responsibilities, nothing beats a well-written lease agreement.

But it is a mistake for a landlord to underestimate the importance of another crucial document — the rental application, when it comes to making a rental business profitable.

A rental application is vital for two reasons:

First, it is a necessary step in effective tenant screening. A well-screened tenant sets the stage for a successful tenancy.  It’s the information contained in the rental application that helps a landlord determine whether an applicant would make an appropriate tenant.

And if things do take a turn for the worse, it is the information provided in the rental agreement that will be necessary to track down a tenant and collect a judgment.

Make sure you are using an up-to-date rental application form.

Also, leave enough room on the application for hand-written answers. Tight space limitations may discourage complete answers.

Review the information face-to-face with the individual if possible to clarify any confusing answers and observe the applicant’s behaviour.

Always check the application against the tenant’s credit report to see if things just don’t add up — like previous addresses that don’t track.

Update the information in the rental application periodically, and if you renew the lease. Require the tenant to update you if any of this information changes.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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