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Read further to learn more about rental applications in Georgia such as what fields should be included, what information a landlord can’t ask for, and what other Georgia-specific rental regulations apply to the rental application process.
What is a Rental Application?
A Georgia rental application is a document that landlords use to screen the potential tenants to see which one will work best for the unit that is free on their property. It is a document that is designed to give the landlord an impression of the applicant before they sit down with them to consider filling out an agreement. It also gives the landlord permission to do a background check as well as a credit check.
Most of these forms will not take a lot of time to fill out because they ask straightforward information that most applicants should already know. When an applicant has a below-average credit score, it is not uncommon for the landlord to ask the potential tenant if they have a guarantor that can be added to the application and the eventual agreement to cosign for the tenant. This is a safety precaution that some landlords take in case the new tenant has issues paying rent on time.
Georgia Rental Application Elements
The sections that should appear in an all-encompassing rental application are described below. Applicants should be clearly instructed to complete all fields in the rental application. Blank spaces or incomplete information should be considered for investigation.
Description of the Rental Unit
When a landlord first writes up an application for a tenant to fill out, the first thing that should be at the top of the document is the details of the unit that they are considering renting. This information should include the full street address of the unit as well as the type of rental that it is. Typically, there is a box that can be checked off to indicate whether it is an apartment, a single-family home, or another type of unit. The total square footage of the unit should be listed as well as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that are on the premise.
Additional information that should be added to this section should include the quality of the unit that is being rented out as well as any updates that were made to the unit recently that would increase the value of the space. The landlord should also include the potential date that the unit is going to be available for rent.
Personal and Contact Information
The next section is designed specifically for the applicant’s information. This is personal information so that the landlord can determine who the person that is applying for the unit is and the quickest way to contact them. The information that goes in this section of the application is the potential tenants full, legal name. This will always include the first and the last name of the tenants that are applying, but it may also request information about their middle name or initial as well.
This section could also ask applicants about the family members that will be living in the unit with them. If there are small children that will be living in the unit, there will be a space to list them as well. This will allow the children and the additional residents the option of using the facilities in the community while they are living on the property.
The applicant’s date of birth, their social security number, and their license number will also be required in this section of the document so that the landlord has all of the information that is required to complete a background check on the individual. If the applicant does not have a driver’s license, then another state ID will be able to be used in its place.
Finally, the last part of information that is needed in this section is the applicant’s current address and a phone number where they can be reached. An alternative number and an email address is also a good idea for this section of the application so that there is more than one contact number on file.
The next section that the landlord is going to want to have in the application is the rental history of the potential tenant. Most landlords in Georgia will ask information about the last three locations that the applicant rented at. This will include the address of the location, the name of the landlord or the management company, and a phone number where they can be reached. This information will be used to contact the previous landlords to see whether or not the applicant was a good tenant and if they paid their rent in a timely fashion.
If there are not three previous locations that the applicant can list, the landlord may request that a guarantor is listed on the application. This may also be requested when the tenant has broken a lease of been evicted in one of the units. This will help the landlord to determine whether or not the applicant is a good fit for the unit or not.
The financial history of the applicant is also something that will need to be considered in the application, and typically, it will be seen in the next section. The finances of the person applying will help the landlord know whether or not they will be able to pay the rent in a timely fashion. The first part of this section will detail the employment of the individual who is applying for the past five years or more.
The section will provide space for the applicant to write down their employers, the name of the company, their supervisor’s name, and a number where they can be reached. It should also include information about the number of years that the person has been working for the company, their position in the company, and the reason that they left.
In addition to the work-related history, this section is also designed to tell the landlord a little bit about the credit history of the applicant as well as other sources of income. This can include anything that is substantial like a pension, a dividend, or something else. The number of funds that the applicant has in their bank account, as well as the type of credit cards that they have, may also be noted here so that the landlord can get an accurate idea of the type of funds that they have available to use.
In the state of Georgia, not all of the residents who live in the unit will be required to be on the lease. However, it is important to note all of the individuals by name who will be living on the premise so that they can use the facilities without an issue. In addition, the landlord can use this information to let the roommate back into the unit if they get locked out when the official tenant that is on the lease is not home.
Some landlords will request that any additional people who are living in the unit fill out part of the application. It may not be all of the same parts as the main tenant, but they will need to fill out the requested section of the application. In this state, at least the person’s full name and relationship to the tenant will need to be listed. If the person is not listed on the application as a potential roommate, there will not be any proof that they live there, so it is less likely that the landlord will provide them with any assistance if they need it.
The next section of the application will deal with pets that the potential tenant may want to bring into the home. In Georgia, the rules when it comes to pets varies a bit; some landlords allow pets on their property, but not all landlords approve of them living in the space. If there are any restrictions that the applicant should know about when it comes to the pets that can live in the unit with them, it needs to be listed here so that they know about the rules and regulations before signing an agreement.
Some landlords will allow both cats and dogs. Some will only allow cats or certain breeds of dogs, and others may not allow any pets on the property at all. Also, sometimes a landlord will set limits on the number of pets that a tenant can have, so make sure that if there are any such rules, they are listed here.
In most situations, the landlord will ask a bit of information about the pets so that they can be located if they happen to get lost. Some of the information that may be required include their breed, their name, their weight, their age, and the color of their fur. The landlord or management company may also ask for a picture of the animal as well. Having all of the important information listed in this section of the application can also make it so that the applicant does not leave their furry friends without a home.
Personal of Landlord References
When an applicant applies for this type of a residential lease, they are going to need to provide references to the landlord so that they can determine whether or not they are a good fit. Many landlords will ask for the information of the previous landlords to use as a reference, but ideally, in this section, it is going to be more of a personal reference from someone that has known you for quite a long time. It can be a co-worker, a supervisor, or a close friend, but it needs to be someone that the applicant trusts to vouch for them when they need a good referral.
Most landlords will not accept information for family members in this section or anyone that the applicant is currently in business with. The information that is going to be needed in this section includes the name of each applicant, a phone number where they can be reached, and the amount of time that the person has known the applicant. This section must also be initialed and dated to provide the landlord with permission to contact the references that were listed by the applicant.
This is a section of the application where the landlord can ask the applicant any additional information that they want to know about. This can include whether or not the potential tenant has ever been convicted of a felony. It can also ask if they have ever filed bankruptcy. There will be a space provided in this section that will allow the applicant to explain the situation that caused these events to occur, which could give the person the chance to get accepted for the unit when they may have otherwise have been denied.
The landlord may also ask if any of the potential tenants smoke. This is something that can bother other residents if it is done in the common areas on the premise, so there may be designated smoking areas that they will need to use. In addition, smoking in the unit can cause the walls and the carpet to be stained, so the landlord may not permit smoking in some units. Having this information will allow the landlord to decide if there is a unit that works better for the tenant.
Personal Statement and Additional Information
The personal statement section of the application is a place where the applicant can inform the landlord of their specific needs. This could include having first-floor access, an accessible parking spot, or having an emotional support animal living with them for their health. This section will allow the landlord to see whether or not the unit that is being applied for fits these needs or if there is one that will work better for the applicant.
As with any application, the final section that will need to be filled out is going to be the signature section. This will require the printed name of the applicant, the date, and their signature. Also, if there are any application fees that the landlord requires from the tenant, they will need to be listed here along with a disclosure that states that they are not refundable.