Help with tenant applications!

9 Replies

So we have been having interest with one of our properties but we are having problems with potential tenants not completing the application process. We are emailing them the application packet which is only two pages. I’m thinking we need to make the application fillable on their computer. I think people don’t have printer/scanners readily available. Any one experience this?

If you have a paper application, have them complete at the time of the showing and take it right then and there.

If not, scannable is a great Freee APp that they can use to scan the application to you. 

When you are at the property with them ask them what they are looking for in a place, ask them what they like about this property, try to get them to talk about what might be turning them off.  There could be a ton of reasons they aren't following through.

I would also hand out the application at the showing, and offer the return to be via e-mail or at the property.  We've had a lot of people text us that they are leaving it in the mailbox and we come and get it soon.

Consider offering no fee screening.  It doesn't add up to very much per year for us to pay for it, and gets us more applicants.

I definitely think you should either go with online apps or bring paper applications with you to showings. Very few people have printers anymore. We switched to applications entirely online and people appreciate that they can fill it out on there phone without worrying how they’re going to get it back to us. It’s easier for the applicants and us.

Ditto on online applications, makes it so much easier, no drama trying to meet to collect app fees.

Great information everyone!! Thank you so much!! 

For what it's worth, my first foray into finding tenants had the same issue. People loved the house, but didn't complete the application. They'd complete part online, but never finish.

After finally renting - I think the issue was it was overpriced. They loved the house, but could get something that maybe wasn't quite so nice, but fit their needs for $200/mo less.

Lesson learned - it's not like selling where people who are interested will write an offer. There's typically a lot of competition and the place has to be priced not only well, but aggressively.

Hi Chad, 

There are free sites with online applications that you can customize. I have seen many more tenants lean towards this. This is because renters are generally tech savvy due to their age group. Also, I've seen many tenants fear paper applications with their personal information (ss#, address, etc) being in the hands of a stranger where it could be lost of stolen. It is also easier to fill out and submit!

If you have any questions regarding online applications, please reach out! 


@Chad Lamb Try mysmartmove dot com through Transunion.  We use them for our rentals and it provides pretty much everything you'll need to assess the quality of a prospective tenant.  The application process should be fairly simple if streamlined online.  Hope this helps.

We are admittedly low tech.  We hold open house showings with paper applications .  We bring a printer/copier with us to the open house, and instruct those interested to bring their driver's license (to verify ID) and a copy of their paycheck stub.  We copy ID and paycheck stubs as they fill out the applications.  We set up a card table with folding chairs in the empty living room.  This process works very well for us.  We show in teams, so one can be showing the property while another is helping answer application questions.  You would be surprised how many people do not know their bank account numbers, etc.  It is also safer to show in teams.

Our tenants all have access to the internet via their smartphones, but only about 50% have a printer.

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