Legal questions on a rental application

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Old Sep 18th, 2008, 08:30 PM   #1
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Default Legal questions on a rental application

what questions cannot be asked on a rental application
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 09:14 AM   #2
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Default re: Legal questions on a rental application

Probably easier to ask, what do you want to ask, and we can answer that.

Applications generally ask for personal info (full name, address, DOB, SSN, phone, who will live in unit, current and prior addresses and LL's name and contact info), employment info (employer, address, phone, job title, wages, dates of emplyment for current and previous employers), credit info (banks, credit cards, loans), vehicle info (make, model, license # to ID car parked on the property), references (personal, relatives, doctor - in case of emergency), If the applicant has ever paid rent late, been evicted, filed BK, committed a crime, violated or broke a lease, if they smoke, have pets, a waterbed, ask for other sources of income besides employment, and have a clause above the signature line to allow verification of employment, rental history, credit reports, criminal background, etc.
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Old Jan 1st, 2009, 05:43 AM   #3
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Default re: Legal questions on a rental application

Hi,

I want to take help from you all on the rental application. Kindly provide me help on this thing


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Old Jan 1st, 2009, 11:28 AM   #4
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Default re: Legal questions on a rental application

Once more what questions are on or do you want to place on this application? Questions about race would be no no!
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Old Jan 1st, 2009, 01:38 PM   #5
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Default re: Legal questions on a rental application

You cannot ask any question that would identify someone as belonging to a protected category sijnce that would open you to questions of discrimination. NO questions about race, color, religion, sex, handicaps, familial status (married or children), or national origin. That said, you can ask the number of people who will be living in the unit, identifying info (names, dobs), what they do for a living, how much they make, where they bank, where they've lived before, why they left there, what credit history or criminal huistory they have, if they've ever been sued or in BK, if they've been evicted, etc. You can also ask if they are US citizens or have legal status in the US since many areas make it illegal to rent to illegal aliens (and give you hefty fines for doing so). But you must ask the same questions and use the same appliaction for all applicants to be fair. (So if you ask a 20 yr old college student his criminal history, be sure to ask the 86 yr old grandmother also.

I suggest you get a copy of the NOLO application and use that, or one that has been vetted and used by local LLs in your area. Those should both be fine to use.
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Old Jan 4th, 2009, 12:35 AM   #6
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Default re: Legal questions on a rental application

Each State has some government body that licenses real estate brokers, and often leasing agents are considered brokers as well. In my state the licensing agency is called the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. The commission publishes a handbook every two years which costs $44 and it has examples of acceptable tenant applications and lease contracts. In addition it has lots of information about the legal aspects of being a landlord, and the legal requirements of being a leasing agent.

I think that anyone planning to be a landlord in this state should buy a copy of that book. If you do plan on using a leasing agent then you should know what is required of them, and if not then you should know what is required of you.

In North Carolina a landlord who leases his own property without the use of a leasing agent is not required to be licensed, but can (in theory) be sanctioned by the real estate commission if he/she violates commission rules as landlord, although this seems rare as I have not seen such a case in any of the commission bulletins.
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 09:35 AM   #7
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Default re: Legal questions on a rental application

Can a rental application ask personal information such as bank account numbers and income to debt ratio; itís been a long time since I had to rent a place (military base housing). Iím sending an application with my SSN and all my bank information. So do I have a right to request my original application returned in the event I do not rent from or denied rent from wherever I apply?
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 12:36 PM   #8
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Default re: Legal questions on a rental application

Yes. Those questions are standard on today's rental applications.

Your original application will not be returned to you, as it is not yours to begin with. It belongs to the rental company, or landlord, or whomever else pays for the application forms and service.

Even if they were to return the original, does not mean they might not have made a copy. In this day and age, identity theft is epidemic and protection from it is practically non-existent.

They have no legal obligation to return your completed application, and while it might not hurt to ask, don't be surprised if they refuse.
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Old Mar 26th, 2010, 01:16 PM   #9
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I can pretty much guarantee they won't return it. Applications are kept on file in most places as protection from discrimination suits. With the applications, they can show why an applicant was not a good candidate and was not selected. They can prove they have been showing the unit to and considering all people (minorities, both sexes, handicapped, all races, etc.) If they gave all those applications back, how could they show why you were rejected or who else they considered? How could they prove they were not discriminatory and were providing equal opportunity in housing? So you can see why they don't return them.

The questions asked are standard and very important. Bank account information is to be sure you have an account in good standing (the bank won't release your balances) and as protection should you skip out owing money later. The debt to income ratio is to be sure that you can afford the unit after you pay all of your other obligations. A person with an income of $2500 per month would appear to be able to afford a $600 apartment on the surface. But if his debt to income ratio is looked at, you would see that he also is paying a $400 car loan each month, in addition to a minimum payment of $300 on credit card debt, $200 on a personal loan, $100 on an installment loan for new furniture, another $200 for student loan payments, $200 for child support, and $100 a month garnished for an old debt. $1500 of his income is gone before he even pays rent! After he would pay his rent, he would have only $400 each month to pay the gas, electric, water, sewer, trash, cable, phone, internet, buy food, put gas in his car, etc! He would not be able to afford the place, despite his income.
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Old Jun 18th, 2010, 11:33 AM   #10
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Default re: Legal questions on a rental application

Can they ask whether you will have overnight guests? And then try to charge a $30 application fee for your boyfriend who might spend the night once a week?
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