Fill out & sign your rental application online

  • Download a form filler by Movavi
  • Open a fillable rental application form in PDFChef by Movavi
  • Complete the rental application and sign the document
  • Save the finished application form
  • Print the form or email a PDF copy to your prospective landlord or property management company

Edited by Pat Bitton

June 2, 2021

What is a rental application form?

Rental applications give landlords and property managers the information they need to screen prospective tenants who want to rent properties from them. The information provided in the application tells the landlord or property manager about the prospective tenant’s background and credit history. Landlords want to know if potential tenants have a history of evictions, criminal behavior, and/or other red flags before they take the risk of renting to them. A rental application will also give some information about a new tenant’s income and work history. A tenant with a solid, steady work history and consistent income is always preferable to one who’s hopped from job to job and doesn’t have a demonstrated means of earning income to pay the rent.

So, who needs to fill out a rental application? Anyone who is trying to rent a property will need to fill out and submit a rental application. Whether you’re looking for a house, apartment, or other residential property, or you’re trying to rent a property for your business, a rental application will be part of the process of finding the right space for you.

Of course, there are different types of rental applications. It’s important to know if you need to fill out a specific application form for business property, a HUD home, or another type of property. Along with commercial rental applications, some applications vary by state and by rental organization. For example, a few of the types of forms include rental applications for the Association of Realtors, the National Landlords Association, and Zillow. There’s also a generic, simple application that many landlords use, as well. You can find free sample copies of each of these application types for free online.

How to fill out a sample rental application form

Now, let’s walk through how to fill out a rental application online. Follow these steps to ensure that you fill your form out completely and accurately – so you’re more likely to be approved and less likely to receive a rejection letter for the house or apartment you want to rent. For our purposes, we’ll be taking you step-by-step through a standard rental application, but these steps apply to most types of rental application forms.

  1. Download a basic printable version of the right type of rental application for your desired rental property.

  2. Print your application form or download PDFChef by Movavi to fill it out on your computer.

  3. Gather all relevant documentation that you’ll need to fill out your application. This will likely include:
    a. State-issued driver’s license or other valid ID
    b. Two recent paystubs from your employer, a recent W-2, or other employment and income verification
    c. Personal references
    d. Three previous addresses

  4. Accurately complete information about your prospective rental property in the section labeled “The Property.” This will include information about the property type (apartment, house, condo, etc.), square footage, number of bedrooms, and address. If these blanks are not filled in, complete them to the best of your ability. You may want to contact your landlord or leave spaces blank if you aren’t sure about an answer.

    Disclaimer: The templates here are provided for reference only and you should always talk to a professional for all legal matters.

  5. Next, fill in the “Applicant Details” section. This will include your full name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. You will also be expected to include your driver’s license number and contact info (phone number and email address). It’s essential that you fill out this information completely and accurately, or you will be much more likely to fail a background check and get rejected for the rental property.

    Disclaimer: The templates here are provided for reference only and you should always talk to a professional for all legal matters.

  6. If you have pets, check “yes” after the pets inquiry, and do the same for the entry for other occupants, as well as your vehicle and any other vehicles that will be parked at the property on a regular basis.

  7. If you have roommates or your spouse will be living with you, fill in their information in the subsequent “Applicant Details” section(s). If no other occupants will be living with you, you can leave these sections blank.

    Disclaimer: The templates here are provided for reference only and you should always talk to a professional for all legal matters.

  8. Next is the self-reported background information. Here, you will answer honestly if you have ever been convicted of a crime. If yes, give the relevant information about the crime you were convicted of, including type, date, and any other details. In this section, you will also be asked if you have ever filed for bankruptcy, and if yes, to describe the details and dates of your bankruptcy.

  9. In the employment history section, begin by completing the information required about your current employer. Use the spaces below this to fill in accurate info about your previous employers. You’ll need to include addresses for your employers, your supervisors’ names, how long you were employed, and your income. You’ll typically be asked to complete this information for your three most recent employers.

    Disclaimer: The templates here are provided for reference only and you should always talk to a professional for all legal matters.

  10. You’ll next need to fill out information about your residential history. You’ll start by completing your current address information. This will, like the information about your prospective rental, include the type of property, square footage, number of rooms, rental amount per month, address, and how long you’ve lived there. You will also need to include your current lease’s expiration date and your reason for moving.

  11. Below your current residence information, you’ll see spaces for your current landlord’s name, address, phone number, and email address. Fill these in as accurately as possible.

  12. Below the section for your current residence, you’ll see a similar section labeled “Previous Residence.” Fill in the same information for your previous addresses and landlord before your current residence, starting with your most recent and going back. You will typically need to enter information for your last three addresses before your current residence.

  13. As part of your background check, you’ll be required to give information about your financial situation. Here, you’ll fill out the name of your bank, your account number, routing number, the location of the branch you typically use, and you’ll select “checking” or “savings” to indicate which type of account it is. If you aren’t sure about your account number or routing number, you can find these on the bottom left and bottom middle of one of your checks, respectively.

  14. If you have any credit cards, you’ll be required to include information about these below your bank account information. Select the appropriate box for Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AmEx, or Diner’s Club. Then fill in your name as it appears on the card, your card number, and your credit limit.

  15. There’s also a space for additional information. If you have any extenuating circumstances that you would like your new landlord to know about, describe them here.

  16. Finally, sign and date the application and return it to your landlord or property manager.

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