Potential tenant wants someone else to do the application.

9 Replies

This is my first rental property I have a prospective tenant who asked if her sister can do the application. Assuming I agree, I would then require her sister to be on the lease, even thought she is not living there. Does my one have any advice on this?

Does she want her sister to fill it out, or actually apply? If the sister is actually applying, then she would need to be the responsible party.


Learn to think that word when you get prospects suspects such as this. 

EDIT - I used the strike-through font for the word "prospects" there, and it displays as strike-through in the editor, but not when the post displays. Looks like a(nother) BP bug ...

No no no.  You want the apartment, you apply.  Your sister wants it?  She can apply.  If the person won't fill out the application, they are hiding something.

Often when an applicant would request something like this it is because their rental history is poor; either they've been evicted before (perhaps a number of times!), they have an extremely poor credit history, a criminal history, etc..  In other words, as others have posted they may be hiding something.

Did this applicant come up with a reason why the sister would be doing the application?

That's Awesome! Yeah... It would be a big NO. This might work if you had a property management company but not when you manage your own properties. We are pretty strict with our application process. As a former corporate manager I am strict on who I hire. It is like getting married, marry the wrong person and you can have a messy divorce. Marry the right person and you will live happily ever after.

That sounds pretty hinky to me and I would say don't do it. If the issue is credit you can always have the sister be a guarantor if you're comfortable with that.

Hi David --  I am not clear if the woman just needs help filling out the application so her sister will help or if she wants her sister to apply and she will live there.  In my past life as a lawyer I have had clients who could not read or write so I do not have a problem with someone else completing the application.  I will talk with the actual applicant to verify the information.  However, anyone 18 or over who is going to live in my property has to complete an application.   So if the sister is completing (and not just helping) it means (1) she is going to live there or (2) she is going to be a co-signer.  Best, Teresa

The person who is living in the unit should always be the applicant. You can have a co-applicant, if someone else is willing to be financially responsible but not live in the unit - this is common for college students, and sometimes with older adults who have bad credit but otherwise good income and their parents are willing to co-sign financial responsibility - but no one should live in your unit over the age of 18 without being checked financially and criminally.