Application Fees ( How much and Who)?

8 Replies

Can anyone provide any advice on:

1) What is reasonable application Fee to Charge ?

2) WHO do you charge ? IE: I get 20 applications for a property - Do I go through and pick and choose who to charge app fee to ?

I greatly appreciate your advice :)

@Dan Elam this is just me personally, but I don't charge an application fee here on my rentals in the Chicago area. My main goal is to find great people to rent my apartments, and the little bit of revenue I could get from the bad ones isn't worth it. My goal is to be quick to respond, easy to work with, etc. This lets me get lots of applications so I have a lot of folks to choose from. 

I do use a credit/background service every time though. That costs the tenants around $29 per person. 

@John Warren

Thank you - What you are doing is what I have been doing BUT I was not even charging for the credit checks. Do you use Zillow Rentals ? ( For the credit checks etc ) Any additional thoughts, comments are appreciated.

Thank you.

I'm not sure if we're talking about the same "application fee" yet the only application fee I charge is the background/credit/employer verification, which is what I call my application. I use mysmartmove.com.

@Dan Elam

@Jason Albasha

Thank you for your info. I’m referring to the fact I get many “ Applications “ - I have been reviewing them all and picking the one(s) I’m most interested in and THEN charging the $ to pull credit and such - is seems that is what y’all are doing too VS charging all 15 or 20 people who submit applications ??

Have you used Zillow Rentals at all ?

They have a fully integrated application/background credit system where they charge the consumer $29 pull reports and submit over to us - just curious if you have use that in your thoughts?

Fully integrated with what? 

I've only used mysmartmove. They charge $40 to the applicant I believe yet I'm sure it's likely all the same. 

And yea, you can't charge all of them. I only send my application out one at a time. So if there's a queue, I work my way down the list. I'd hate to make someone pay $40 just so I can have the best choosing. I know when I talk to them if they meet the qualifications or not because I ask them when they're viewing the apartment. 

Jason, thanks. A follow up question. 
i have multiple applications from people who have never toured the units, and they tell me  “ we have driven by and viewed the online pictures and we are good with them”.  Have you ever rented to someone without walking through the unit with them ( or someone on your team walking through with them ) ?


If if lastly, my comment re Zillow Rentals regarding being integrated, meaning they ( Zillow ) takes application, does all back ground, credit , employment ( the prospective tenant can take pics of their paycheck stubs and upload for you to view )

If you choose them, you can upload your lease or use their lease. I haven’t researched a lot a lot but I did use a couple of the credit application areas and it is very smooth. 

Here in CO we are only allowed to charge an application fee that is the actual charge of what we pay to run background checks. We don't give out an application to a prospect unless we have 1. phone screened them and 2. met them in person after showing them the property. It's a waste of time for us and the applicant to allow a bunch of applications to flood our inbox if we don't even know they qualify for the property. Many applicants will try to talk their way around the 3x income qualification.