Best Place To Find Renter Application Form and Lease Agreement???

15 Replies


I just closed on my 1st rental home and will close on 2nd rental in 3 weeks.

Where is the best place to buy/download a good rental application form?(I didn't like some of the wording on the free one from BP).

Same for actual lease agreement??

Lastly, who is everyone using to do background checks on applicants?

I was thinking of asking for 250.00 non-refundable fee for cleaning and a full months rent for refundable deposit. Sound reasonable???


Oh boy you kind of put the cart before the horse lol. You may just want to contact a local lawyer or property manager and pay them for one. Each state/county/city will have different things that may need to be addressed in the lease and it would likely take you awhile to come up with everything on your own. 

I would stay away from a $250 non-refundable cleaning fee since it's not the standard. You just need to require them to leave the house as clean as it was when they moved in. If they keep it clean the whole tenancy it would be unfair on their part to pay $250 when all they had to do was sweep and clean a few things. The security deposit covers your cost if they leave it in a condition where you have to clean.

We use for credit checks. We just created our own applications asking for the information that was relevant to us. You can get generic leases from many different legal forms websites, but we created our own so it would be personalized for our business and properties. You may want to have a local attorney familiar with your local real estate laws write up your first lease. Check your local laws about a non refundable deposit. I see people charging that for pets in my area, but not for cleaning. Just do an inspection 30 days before they move.  Go over how you expect the place to look when they move, and give them the price you will charge them on their deposit if they are not thorough enough. has state specific leases. I started with one and added a few things over the years. 

If I remember correctly, you can buy a package that comes with the applications, welcome letters, move in/out checklists, and some other forms you will need.

Won, Most states have a landlord-tenant law. Get a copy of yours and read it. Be sure what is in your lease agreement agrees with your state law. You may be able to find something customized for Washington by asking around. Realtors might be able to help for free. Rental applications are mostly generic, but leases need to be in line with state law. Congrads on getting started!

Thx everyone...I wasn't thinking about owner-tenant laws specific to the state in which I live and own property...I better get help from someone specific to the state of WA.

Think I found some online site to do the background check...I have a decent rental application but I don't have a decent lease agreement specific to WA yet.

@Won Lee

As soon as you can, do something very kind for yourself. Take yourself to coffee and read your state's landlord-tenant laws. You may be able to find a condensed version at

Please don't skip this step. It's not sexy, but it's part of the business.

Yes, you learn as you go, but you need head knowledge of the fundamentals.

Best to you!

My 2 cents with regards to a leases.  Use month to month leases which is self-renewing every month.  The benefit is if you need to evict someone you have the option to do so at the end of the month instead of waiting yearly.  As soon as a renter falls begin in their rent serve them a 5 days notice (check your landlord laws in your area), to start the process.

Good Luck :)

Won, Washington Landlord Association doesn't have much of an on-line presence, but once you pay your dues they have great access to all the forms and they have in-house tenant screening if you don't want the applicant to do it on-line.  See

You need to see what others in your target area are charging for deposits.  You should charge as much as your local market will bear.  We find that deposit amounts vary a lot with the economy and with the time of year (higher in tax refund season when applicants have more disposable income, etc).  And your pet policy makes a different too.  Start spending time on Craigslist weekly to get a feel for what other local landlords and property managers are doing.

This reminds me of when I was pregnant - I spent so much time studying about the birth I didn't focus on what to do with the baby.  It is also easy to spend so much time studying the property and not focus on the tenant aspect, where more of the profit is made or lost.

If you have the money and time, I'd recommend going for a local lawyer who can help you with all the local law minutiae.  This will be important if you wind up doing even more properties in the future.  But if you really just need a stopgap, there are some quality free landlord forms available from the American Apartment Owners Association.