How do I tell an applicant I am denying their application.

8 Replies

I had a couple apply where one has a job that make 3 x rent. However they had a house go into foreclosure this year, declared bankruptcy, have no landlord references, currently lives with his mom and he's around 40 and had his money give me the deposit money. Can some one please give me a short script for how to tell them that I am denying his application. I want to keep looking for someone else.


I never deny an applicant. I only tell them, "Thank you for your interest in our property. We have selected another applicant. We wish you luck in your home search."

Then refund the app fee, so there are no hard feelings.

Do you say that even if you haven't found another one yet? They will see that I keep posting the ad online...

I would say: "Thank you for your interest. Your application has been denied due to your foreclosure and/or bankruptcy."

Or, if you prefer not to give a specific reason: "Thank you for your interest. We are still accepting applications and will notify you if you have been accepted."

@Paul Kuegle  I realize this is a little late now but why wouldnt you rent to someone who has a good job, and can not BK on you? Things happened hell alot of us BP people have had a BK so you wouldnt rent to us? Just saying. At least you can garnish his wages if things go wrong. 

Applicants usually get the picture when a few days or week go by without a call.  Similar to hiring an employee, however sending a letter of rejection to an employee applicant would be more professional.


If they submitted an application and paid an app fee, I think they deserve the courtesy of a call to let them know.

If you don't want to tell them the truth you can always say something vague like you have many inquiries and have decided to accept applications until a certain date and select the best qualified candidate then.  However there are already applicants ahead of them in terms of credit scores so you feel obligated to let them know sooner rather than later and you will be happy to return their app fee so they can continue to search for a home.

I think lying to the applicants that you already found a tenant or just not avoiding them is kind of a crappy way to deal with people.  They don't meet your credit requirements and I would just tell them that.

For an investor in Canada in our legal and regulatory framework you are not required to give a reason for denial and there are important reasons for not doing so, chiefly that the applicant could create some kind of human rights discrimination complaint based on anything that you say. Therefore the best advice I have heard from executives with corporate landlords and from landlord association meetings is that you be sure to give no reason or any other information regarding a denial. My standard decline letter reads as follows:

Dear X,

Thank you for viewing the property at XXXX recently. After your visit you made an application for tenancy. We have now had an opportunity to review this application and based on the information in the application we are declining the application.

We wish you well in your search for rental accommodation and hope that you find a unit suitable for your needs.


That really is all that is needed, and anything more could present liability. This is a case where the less said the better.

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