Tenants filling out applications

13 Replies

Just curious about other landlords on application forms.

I found that for applicants who are truly interested in renting, they would ask for an application form and proceed to fill out right there, right then.

Of those who didn't ask for an application form, or those who took one but say "we'll discuss it and let you know..." I never had one that came back.

Everyone I eventually rented to expressed immediate interest and applied right the way. I never had one who had to think about it.

What about you guys?

We've had mixed results with this.

Sometimes when they fill it out right there it is because they love it, because they are absolutely desperate, or because they aren't going to take the time to fill the app out right anyway. We always find it annoying and try to have odd jobs we can do in other parts of the unit while they dink on it. We've already walked around with them and asked our questions to feel them out, it doesn't seem like a good use of our time to hear their detailed history while they slowly fill in the blanks.

We do get a lot who take the application and we never hear from them. I think people think it is easier to feign interest than to just say it doesn't meet their needs/desires. We'd save on printing costs if they would just pass. Or they see something on our first two info pages they don't like, like that we really do verify the info. Or they just don't have good follow through.

Our best luck is those who take the application and return it 24-48 hours later. I think they want a little extra time to see other units and fill out the application completely. We require everyone who will live there to fill out and sign the application, and all the adults aren't always shopping the vacancies as well.

Keep in mind that I rent in the low income market and do not charge an application fee, so my experiences may not be the norm.

A good renter will never make a split decision same as a investor.

Joe Gore

Although the VAST majority who take an application with them to be filled out later won't fill it out, I have had some who did call back saying they wanted the place and they have completed the application. Perfect for me to visit their residence to pick it up and check out their housekeeping.

@Sam Leon

Most of our inquiries originate on-line. When a prospective tenant sends an inquiry to an e-mail address provided in one of our postings, they are sent an automated response containing more information on the unit in question (floor plan, details about amenities, local schools and shopping information, etc) and a copy of our application form and guidelines.

We have found that the serious applicants frequently show-up to the viewing with a completed application in-hand.

Could be just a coincidence in my case.

I had a few who filled out applications and midway through there were missing info such as a phone number of a previous landlord etc...and had to go back home to complete the application and fax it back to me.

but it was interesting that all those who rented had paid app fee and request application form right on the spot. No one said they had to think about it, no one said they had to see two others and decide.

These were not desperate applicants, I don't rent to those who needed it right the way.

Funny, mine have been the opposite. 100% of my selected tenants have been the ones who took the application home and faxed/emailed it to me by the deadline.

Those who applied on the spot didn't qualify...and they always had incomplete info. I don't do "first come, first served" so there is no reason for anyone to rush their application with us.

My best tenants had "others to view" which, in retrospect, might be an indicator that they are a quality tenant.

Just shows how very different every market is.

For our FL condos, we don't hand out apps. If they're interested, they'll call that day/evening to get an app emailed to them. If they don't call right away, they almost never will. For our lower income SFRs, we work the same way and have them call us if they're interested.

I have never had someone fill it out on the spot. They have come with references but not all that they would need for an application. I have best luck with emailing the application as a followup and they fax it back. Most of the people who want paper when they come never return it including those who love the place. I can't understand that one. They start talking about where they will put this or that and truly seem to like a property and you never hear from them.

I have open house showings and have applications available onsite. I leave them in plain sight on the kitchen counter and yet, invariably, people will ask if I have applications. So since there are other people around, the people are filling them out right then and there. I have multiple pens available and make it very easy. Before the person leaves I review the application with them, get ID and any other documents, and ensure that nothing is left blank.

If someone asks to take an application with them, I will not see that person again and they're just trying to be polite. (Don't waste my applications by being polite.)

@Colleen F. Yes, exactly what you said! Crazy I even had a person come by the place twice in a matter of an hour and a half. I emailed her the TransUnion SmartMove link to fill out and send back, and got nothing. I sent her a follow up email a couple of days later (she said she wanted to fill it out the day she viewed it) to remind her it would come from TransUnion. She replied with "thanks, I was getting concerned that I hadn't seen it. My daughter loved the house." And then, you guessed, nothing from her ever again. Really weird.

I give out apps to all interested, but only process after app fee paid. I don't verify or do any investigations until fee paid. Some will fill out app and not follow thru..

I've had some of both (filled out immediately versus bringing it back later). Seems to depend on how much interest there is in the rental. If there are several families/couples/people looking at the unit at the same time (I generally schedule a couple showings at a time so that if one is a no-show, it's not a waste of our time to show up), they feel the pressure to hurry and apply to try to lock it up.

We had one evening once where I had about 6-8 appointments set up between 5:30 and 6:30, then we got a call from someone who'd just driven by and seen the "for rent" sign and wanted to see it, so we ended up with quite a few people going through and looking at it. The couple who'd called was first planning to think it over, but when they saw how many other people were coming to look at it, they hurried up and applied. They've been great tenants. The last time we had a unit up for rent, we got multiple apps on the first day (again, multiple showings at once), and rented to one of them. Also been great tenants.

I think part of the factor of whether they apply on the spot versus bringing the app back later is whether or not they've been looking at other units already, and/or whether they've applied anywhere else. If they've already been shopping around, they know our unit is a pretty good deal (assuming it meets all their needs), so they want to apply on the spot, especially if they see other people interested in it.

All of my (prospective) tenants fill out applications online, so there's little time lost for me if they submit an app and don't follow up. Apps don't get my attention unless the tenant says they are ready to write a check for the deposit. Communicating this, I don't get many bad leads.

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