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Read further to learn more about rental applications in Colorado such as what fields should be included, what information a landlord can’t ask for, and what other Colorado-specific rental regulations apply to the rental application process.
What is a Rental Application?
In Colorado, a rental application is legal documentation that landlords use to gather information regarding tenants who wish to rent a unit on their property. In the state of Colorado, both the tenant and that landlord must follow the federal and state laws about a rental. The tenant may be refused occupancy because they have a bad credit score or they have been consistently late with rent payments in the past. In some situations like this, the potential tenant may need to have a guarantor to cosign the lease when it is signed who can verify that the rental payments will be made.
A potential tenant cannot be turned away because of their sexual identity, gender, race, or any disability that they may have. Some counties in the state will also have additional statutes that must be followed. The questions in a rental application should be designed to give the landlord an idea of the new tenant, but nothing too invasive should be asked, especially if it can sway the decision of the landlord. To make sure that all of the rental applications that a landlord used are the same, it’s ideal to make an application that can be used to store the tenant’s information and their consent to a background and a credit check.
Colorado Rental Application Form Elements
The following parts should be included in any rental application in the state:
Description of the Unit Being Rented
In any rental application that is created in the state of Colorado, the document will state with information about the property that the potential tenant is thinking of renting. Information that should be included in this section of the document should include the type of property that is being considered for the rental application. Include whether it is a single-family home, an apartment building, or something else.
The full address of the unit should be listed here, and make sure to include any apartment number of additional information that the tenant should know. Also, include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that are in the unit so that it is in writing the type of unit that the tenant is looking for. Including the square footage of the unit being considered will also ensure that the landlord and the tenant are on the same page when it comes to the rental.
If anything needs to be done to the unit before the potential move in date, it should be listed here as well. Also, the document should be dated at the top so that it is known when the tenant first applied to rent the property.
The next section will cover the information that the landlord needs to know about the potential tenant. It will include their full name, their date of birth, their social security number, and a good phone number to reach them. The name must also include at least a middle initial, but a full name may be requested as well. The landlord may also ask for a driver’s license number or another form of ID that can be used for a background check in the state.
A current address for the tenant will also be requested. This will give the landlord another option to contact the tenant if they cannot be reached via their phone. Mailings can easily be sent, but a tenant can provide an email address where they can be reached as well. In many applications, there will be a section that asks the preferred contact method, so that the potential tenant can choose the best way to reach them.
This section may also ask a little bit about the living situation of the person applying. Does the tenant have a significant other that will be moving into the unit as well? Will they be on the lease? Are there children who will be living with the tenant?
Another section that is important to include in any rental application is the rental history of the individual who is filling out the application. The first thing that should be asked in this portion of the document is the current address of the tenant. Then, as the landlord, it is important to get some details about their time in the unit. There should be a space that asked how long they have lived at the location and why they are leaving the location now. This information will let the landlord know if there was even a time when the tenant broke the lease that they were in or if an eviction was ever carried out.
The information about the landlord that owns the property at the current address will also need to be included here so that they can be called and asked about their experience renting to the tenant in question.
Following the section that asks about the current rental property, there will most likely be a section that asked more in-depth about past rental locations as well. In most situations, the landlord will ask for at least two prior residences, but if the tenant does not have that many, less can be sufficient. Some landlords will require a tenant to use a guarantor when they do not have sufficient rental history.
This section is designed to give the landlord an idea of the income that the tenant has coming in every month to make sure that they can make the rent payment on time every month. The section can ask whether the tenant is working full time, part time, unemployed, or retired. On most applications, the tenant can also indicate whether they are a student or not.
The application should have a space for employers of the tenant for the last five years. Depending on the individual, it could be a single employer or several. This section should include the name of the employer, the address of where it is located, the position held, and how long the tenant was with the company. The total monthly income should be listed in this section, so if the tenant has more than one position, the income for both should be added up and inserted here.
This section will also include other sources of income that the tenant gets each month. This piece of information may not be the same amount each month, but something like a dividend can add a chunk of money to the income that is received each month or quarter. For retired individuals, their pension is something that will be included as well.
The roommates that are going to reside in the unit with the applicant may not need to be on the application as a person whose income is considered, but the landlord may ask for information on any co-applicants or residents who will be living in the unit as well. Some landlords do not require all of the application to be filled out for the roommates, but it is up to their discretion on how much information they would like to have on file. It will also require the roommate to state their relationship to the tenant as well, but as previously stated, this cannot affect the decision of the landlord in any way.
If a person is not officially on the lease as a co-applicant, the landlord may request that they add their name to the lease after living in the unit for a certain amount of time. This will give the management team an idea of the actual residents that live in the unit, and if someone gets locked out, the management team will have permission to give them access to the unit using their key.
This section is essential for a landlord to know about because not every unit is going to allow cats and dogs to reside on the property. Some locations will allow just cats, while others may not allow certain breeds of dogs to live on the premise for the safety of the other residents on the property. In fact, some landlords do not allow pets to live on the property at all because pets can be too damaging to the walls and the carpets in the unit. If the landlord allows pets and the tenant has some that are going to be moving in with them, there should be a section in the document where their name, the age, their breed, their coloration, and their weight can be listed. Some landlords will ask for a picture of the animal before it is permitted to move in and documentation from the veterinary clinic that the pet goes to so that they can verify that the animal is up to date on its shots.
Sometimes, a landlord in the state of Colorado may require a security deposit for the pet as well so that if there is damage done to the unit from the pets that live there, they have money held that they can use to make the repairs necessary to rent the unit again once the tenant moves out.
Personal or Landlord References
The idea of this section is so that the tenant can list their preferred references so that the landlord can ask them about the potential tenant to get more information from them. A friend that has known the tenant for an extended period of time or a co-worker that has worked with the individual for years will work great in this section. The references can include former supervisors, landlords, and anyone that can vouch for the tenant and the type of person that they are. Family members typically do not work for this part of the application.
The tenant will need to provide the name of the reference, their phone number, and the best time to reach them. Typically, a landlord is going to request at least three references in this section of the application. The tenant must provide the landlord with their permission to contact these individuals as references as well.
This is a section of the application that will delve a little deeper into the person’s history. It will ask if they have ever declared bankruptcy, ever been evicted, or ever been convicted of a felony. If any of these things apply to the tenant, this section will give them a chance to explain the circumstances of the event so that they can still have a chance of getting the unit that they are applying for. This gives the landlord a chance to make a decision with all of the facts in hand instead of making an uninformed one that can decrease the chances of the tenant being accepted into the unit.
Another thing that is often asked in this portion of the application is whether or not the potential tenant smokes. This will not be a deciding fact about whether or not they will be able to rent the unit, but it may help the landlord decide which unit is best suited for a smoker.
This personal statement is a section of the application that provides a place for the tenant to make the landlord aware of any situation that they may have that is not already covered in another section of the application. This means that if the tenant has an emotional support animal or is disabled in any way that the landlord needs to be aware of, it should be listed in this section. This will help the landlord be more aware if the tenant needs an accessible parking space or a first-floor apartment to make living in the unit easier to manage.
The final section of this document is where the tenant will need to sign the application. There should also be a place for the name to be printed as well as the date that the application was filled out. Some landlords may put a disclaimer in the signature section that informs the tenant that the application fees that were paid are not refundable. And that the application does not guarantee their acceptance into the unit that was discussed. If the landlord is requesting a guarantor, then their signature and information will need to be listed as well.