Rental Applications -- is it OK to have many for one home?

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How many rental applications I can take in one time say while the property is vacant? Can I have new people submit new applications while the old one is still being processed? Is there a law that prohibits I cannot have more than one applicant at the same time for one home? Is it Ethical to have many people apply (while one is still in process)? as the application fee is non-refundable and 100% goes to the third party. They very well know they are not the only ones and clearly say application does not mean automatic approval. But I may lose good tenants and a LOT of time, If I do not do parallel processing or if I ask others to wait and not apply while the first one has applied but not supplied all information or says will submit document but just things are delayed. 

Any guidance? Also, whom will you choose, a person with 6K income 3 dependents or 3K income with no dependents? Please share your wisdom! 

Thanks in Advance to all responders! 

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My process for accepting applications is as follows: the first person to submit a fully completed application, meets my criteria AND turns in the holding deposit (which becomes the security deposit after lease signing along with receiving first months rent), I will take the property off market and stop marketing the property. Until then, I continue accepting and processing applications. You could have an applicant who you accept, but has instead found another property by the time you accept. tenants are shopping around, so you dont stop until they back up their interest with a security deposit or sign the lease (and provide deposit plus first month rent).

You cant discriminate against family members. You can only evaluate the adults againsts your screening criteria. Look at their ability to pay, proof of income, check their landlord references by calling them, then look at their credit report to confirm their ability to pay their rent against their current liabilities. Does their income leave enough to pay the rent after all of their bills on credit report? Then accept the best one, but dont reject the other applications until the top one submits their holding deposit within 24 hours. If they dont, you have other applicants you can accept without having to start the entire process over again. This is why you want many applications and be able to pick the best option. Good luck!