Arkansas Rental Application

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Read further to learn more about rental applications in Arkansas such as what fields should be included, what information a landlord can’t ask for, and what other Arkansas-specific rental regulations apply to the rental application process.

What is a Rental Application?

A rental application is a form that allows landlords to screen potential tenants to determine if they are a good fit for a property by asking for a variety of personal information. Rental applications are a vital first step that a landlord must take prior to following through with a lease agreement.  A well-designed, detailed form is a valuable tool that consolidates basic information about a potential tenant and streamlines the rental process for both parties.  A rental application should be complete with a signature line to obtain consent for the landlord to run a credit check, background check or other verification processes on the applicant.

In states such as Arkansas, landlords are granted a decent amount of leniency by the law in regards to their ability to select tenants from a pool of potential tenants. However, should the landlord decline an unfavorable tenant, it is important to ensure that proper documentation for the reason the tenant was declined is gathered. This ensures that the landlord has a valid reason for not selecting the tenant and reduces the likeliness of legal issues should the applicant choose to attempt to sue the landlord. Furthermore, this application allows the landlord to gather valuable information about the tenant such as their employment status, contact information, and emergency contact information. This ensures that the potential tenant will be reliable in paying rent and other utilities. It allows the landlord to determine if, by their discretion, the applicant would meet the expectations of the landlord as a tenant.

Arkansas Rental Application Form Elements

There are several sections in the rental application that should be included to ensure that all relevant information is gathered so that the landlord is able to fully understand what to expect of the potential tenant throughout the leasing period, which is explained below.

Personal and Contact Information

In this section, the potential tenant will provide their information – such as a current or permanent address, phone number, email address, and emergency contact information. Often, this section is important to the landlord for a number of reasons. Primarily, this is due to the fact this section will provide the best methods of contact for the potential tenant. This information will be useful in the application process, as it gives the landlord a method to get in touch with the tenant.

Furthermore, it is important for the landlord to have this information for liability purposes – should anything happen to the tenant while they are on the property, the landlord may need to make a report to the police. Therefore, having personal information such as name, age, date of birth, and emergency contact information is a necessity.

In some cases, the landlord may choose to gather the potential tenant’s social security number in this section as well – this is often useful in the event that a background check is performed on the potential tenant or tenants.

Rental Unit Description

This is one of the most important parts of the initial application – this is often the information provided by the landlord to the tenant. It may discuss important aspects of the unit, such as the type of unit – whether it is a single family home, an apartment, a complex, a townhome, or a small rental house, or an office space for commercial purposes. Furthermore, the address information is discussed in this section – it is important to ensure that all relevant information is included here, such as the unit number or specific street address, house number, or suite number.

Other information included in this section may be but is not limited to a description of the unit itself, with information such as the approximate square footage of the unit, as well as information in regards to the condition of the unit – for instance, if it is an updated unit this may be detailed in the description.

Rental History

This section is often one of the most important for the landlord or property manager. This section provides information detailing previous residences of the potential tenant. In many cases, property names, as well as contact information for previous landlords/property owners may be gathered here. This allows the landlord to look into the tenant’s previous rental history and determine if there were any potential issues throughout the course of their previous leasing experiences. In many cases, the information gathered in this information allows the landlord or property manager the ability to get in contact with the tenant’s previous place of residence and will allow them to investigate past broken leases or potential evictions.

In many cases, this may be one of the most important sections of the application, as the landlord will often want to ensure that potential tenants are going to be reliable renters. In many cases, it is best to gather at least two previous places of residence, or up to two years of the previous residency, to ensure that a clear, recent picture is gathered.

Financial History

Often, this section may also be titled employment information. Typically speaking, this is where the potential tenant includes information in regards to their current employer, or banking information for potential auto payment setup. This is often seen as an important part of the application as well, as this is where the landlord is given the ability to confirm that the tenant will be able to afford to rent the unit.

Sometimes, it is best to gather information for the tenant’s last few employers, as well as information on their hourly/monthly salary. Some landlords or property managers may also require the tenants to submit check stubs to the property along with this section to confirm employment and financial status, particularly if the individual is unable to provide contact information for their current employer.

Roommate Details

Here, the tenant will provide information in regards to their potential roommates – hypothetically, these will be individuals who are not the primary rental applicant, but may be on the lease, or who will be living in the unit but omitted from the lease for any particular reason. In many cases, these individuals will also be required to fill out a rental application but this is often up to the landlord’s discretion. Often, the only information gathered in this section will be the potential roommate’s name and the relationship to the applicant. Some landlords may choose to require contact information to be filled out for these individuals in this section.

Ultimately, this section will detail who will be residing in the unit with the applicant, and determine who is allowed to live on the property. Many landlords choose to use this section to include a disclaimer advising potential tenants that changes to the roommates listed on the application may require them to be added to the lease at a later date.

Pet Information

Throughout the course of this section, the potential tenant provides information on any animals they would be bringing with them to the unit. Typically, this information includes details such as the name, age, and species of animal. However, some landlords may require information such as the breed, coloration, or even a picture of the animal to be included. Furthermore, it is advised that landlords gather the rabies tag numbers for any potential tenant’s pets so they can confirm that the pets have had their shot records updated.

This information may be useful for a variety of reasons, however, the most commonly cited is for safety purposes – as the property owner the landlord is often liable for any harm caused by pets on their property, meaning that it is important to ensure that all animals on the property have up to date vaccinations. Furthermore, this may also be the section to include a disclaimer about any breed restrictions that may be enforced on the property. It is also important that you advise in this section what fees are associated with pets for the unit, should the tenant be approved to rent.

Personal/Landlord References

In this section, the potential tenant should include all references. This may be information for previous landlords not listed in the rental history section of the applications, or information for personal and character references that will give the landlord an idea of who the tenant is as an individual. Some tenants choose to provide information in regards to their current employer or supervisor in this section, as well as individuals they are closely associated with.

Primarily, in this section, it is important to gather information such as the name, relationship, and one to two forms of contact for the individual (such as email, cell phone number, or work number.)

Personal History

This section will provide the landlord with information in regards to the potential tenant. Often, this section is somewhat customizable, but many landlords find it beneficial to gather specific information in this section and, hypothetically, to allow the potential tenant to explain any circumstances that may have previously negatively reflected on them.

Often in this section, landlords will ask questions in regards to the tenant’s smoker status, as well as to inquire about any previous evictions, broken leases, or bankruptcies that were filed. This section allows them to provide an explanation of the circumstances that caused the event to occur, as well as gives the landlord a better idea of who the tenant is as a person. Moreover, the landlord may choose to inquire in this section about any previous felonies that the potential tenant or tenants have been convicted of.

Here, realistically, is the chance for the tenant to provide additional information that may assist in a better understanding of any previous incidents that occurred. Many landlords find this useful information to have, as it allows tenants who may have otherwise been rejected to provide information and an explanation.

Personal Statement

Typically, this section allows the potential tenant to include any information they may feel is relevant to the application. In some cases, they may use it to provide further information on previous rental issues they had or provide information on documentation needed for specific accommodations – such as emotional support animals, While this section is often up to the potential tenant to fill out, not all landlords require it. In other cases, the landlord may want to use it to ask a specific, open-ended question of the tenant, such as why they feel they should be considered to be approved to rent the unit. Other landlords may ask questions of the tenant here such as when they intend to move in.

Information received here may be somewhat vague, however, some tenants may use this section to thoroughly explain past situations. Moreover, some may use this section to advise the tenant of potential issues they may have in the future – such as needing permission to make copies of the keys, or individuals who they will allow to receive packages or request a key on their behalf. Often the information provided here is information that the potential tenant may find important that the landlord knows and consider before they move into the unit, but that was not specifically asked elsewhere in the application.

Signature

Typically, this is the shortest section of the entire application and is often the last section, on the last page. Some landlords may choose to include a disclaimer in this section of the application, stating that the application does not guarantee that the individual will be approved for rental, or that any applicable fees associated with the application are non-refundable.

Once the discloser and any additional information that the landlord feels the tenant needs to know before signing the application is included, there is a line included for the potential tenant to sign the application, as well as date it. Some landlords may allow a married couple to apply together on one application, in which case two signature and date lines may be included – this is at the landlord or property manager’s discretion.

Lastly, many landlords and property managers find it useful to document any fees that were paid with the application, such as the application fee or a deposit put down in case the tenant is selected to rent the unit. It is often best practice to document this with the application, so that should any issues with the deposit arise in the future the date the deposit was given and the amount are clearly accessible and, if the tenant is not able to rent the unit, the deposit may be refunded. Any other information in regards to funds often should be included, too, under the signature line for recordkeeping purposes.

Other Arkansas Templates and Forms

Read About Rental Applications in Other States

Alabama

Hawaii

Idaho

Kansas

Kentucky

Texas