Legal Rental Application

16 Replies


Can anyone guide me to LEGAL Rental Application for the state of Texas (Round Rock Area). I want to make sure that I abide by the law when it comes to sharing the rental application with potential applicants. Particularly interested in knowing what all information can be requested and what all disclosures I need to provide as a landlord.

@Sagar Gulati BP offers state-specific leases that have been reviewed by lawyers. I’ve never used it, nor know anything about TX laws, but it should be a good start!

@Allison Stewart - does Cozy check the applicants rental history (call the previous landlord references to inquire about the applicant) and their actual employment? And what happens if things go bad and you still need their full information, emergency contact, employer, etc in order to track & get hold of them and recover money? 

What I'm trying to say, even if you use an online processor, you might still want to have their full info on hand.

Does Cozy application have something to this extent made available to the landlord?

"Authorization: Applicant authorizes Landlord and Landlord's agent, at any time before, during, or after any tenancy, to:
(1) obtain a copy of Applicant's credit report;
(2) obtain a criminal background check related to Applicant and any occupant; and
(3) verify any rental or employment history or verify any other information related to this application with persons
knowledgeable of such information."

@Allison Stewart Thanks for you note. I looked at Cozy's rental application but it is very generic and is not state specific. I was reading and got to know that we need to disclose the selection criteria to all applicants in Texas. This might be a minor comment but I want a LEGAL document so that small things are not missed. Thanks again for the help!

@Costin I. , no Cozy does not, but if you are managing your own rentals, you have to do that either way - paper application or Cozy application. 

If things go bad, you have the information from Cozy. It doesn't go away, plus, you can download it or save it any way you need. Plus, you have their full information on the lease if they get to that step.

And yes, Cozy provides both the criminal background check and the credit report to the Landlord. It also has references, previous rental history, employment history etc. It had plenty of information for us to make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed with an applicant. 

It was exactly like when we used a realtor, except I had personal access to all of that information.

@Sagar Gulati if you feel the need to have a "LEGAL document", you need to hire a lawyer and have them prepare one for you. I think that's excessive, but if that makes you feel protected, that's the only way to guarantee the document is legal. 

Actually surprised so many people commented already without providing the standard Texas Association of Realtors form...

Anecdotally , I use for credit and criminal background. You can easily set up a free account as a landlord and send requests to applicants just by having their name and email. Then the tenant pays $40 and fills in their information and you get the reports back. Super simple. 

Lastly, I keep handy qualification criteria document so that can be quickly sent to prospective tenants. Of course I also require proof of income and copy of government issued identification. 

@Allison Stewart if that worried about it one can use the same fields build the exact same structure in MS Word and just remove the header stating TAR and must be agent could even just copy it into paint and remove the header and that would suffice. Application document is not something an applicant can successfully sue over...I welcome that kinda challenge to stand up in court. It has already been fought and lost.