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Read further to learn more about rental applications in Kansas such as what fields should be included, what information a landlord can’t ask for, and what other Kansas-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.
Before a new tenant moves into a new location, they are going to be required to fill out a legal application. This rental application is an option that will ask the potential tenant some critical information so that the landlord can use the information to decide whether or not they are a good fit for the tenant. In most of the applications that can be found across the state of Kansas, the information that is requested is fairly simple, so it will not take a long time to fill out. With the permission of the applicant, the landlord will be able to complete a credit and a background check on the individual.
Writing a Rental Application in Kansas
Since this information is going to be used to keep track of each of the applicant’s, the information will need to be kept on file for a specific amount of time. Because of this, there are certain parts of the application that need to be included.
Description of the Rental Unit
When writing a rental application for potential tenants to use, the first thing that should be seen on the document is the description of the property that the individual is applying to rent. To help make this an application that can be used for several different applicants, leave this space blank so that it can be filled out with each person. In this section, the information should also state what type of housing unit it is. If the unit is a townhouse, an apartment, or a single-family home, it should be listed here.
Make sure to include the full street address for the property. Also, include the county and the city that the unit is located in. Cross streets should also be mentioned in this document as well as any identifying information for the unit. To help the applicant decide whether this is a comfortable fit for their family, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms that can be found in each unit as well as the total amount of square footage that the unit has. If this information is at the top of the document, then there applicant will easily be able to determine whether this unit works for their needs.
After the details of the unit are put at the top of the document, a potential lease start date should be next in the document. The amount that is being asked for the rental payment for the unit can be listed here as well.
The next portion of the document is going to be a portion for the applicant to fill out. The personal information that will be required will include the full name of the applicant as well as a phone number where they can be reached. If there is an alternative way to reach the applicant, it can also be listed here as well. This can include an additional phone number, and email address, or another method to contact the applicant.
In addition to this information, the applicant’s date of birth and their social security number may also be requested. At this point in the document, there may be a box that asks permission for the landlord to do a background check on the applicant. In the state of Kansas, a photo ID is going to be required as well, which can be in the form of a driver’s license or a state ID if the applicant does not have an applicant.
The final part of information that should be asked for in this section of the application is regarding the people who are going to be living in the unit with the applicant. This can include other family members or children. When an applicant has children, the landlord cannot discriminate against them when it comes to getting a unit to rent, but knowing that there will be children on the premises may allow the landlord to update the unit and the grounds so that the children can play.
The next section that will need to be filled out in the application has to do with the rental history of the applicant. Most landlords will request information about the last three locations where the individual has rented from. The information requested for each will include the address of the rental location, the name of the management company that owns the property, and a phone number where the landlord can be reached. It may also ask how long the applicant lived on the property, and if the potential landlord has permission to contact previous landlords.
Sometimes, an applicant may live on one property for a long period of time, so they may not have three locations that can be listed here. If this is the case, the landlord may not require the applicant to have all three previous rental locations. Some landlords may also request the applicant to have a guarantor when the rental history is lacking, this is effectively an individual who will be able to vouch for the applicant. If the potential tenant is not capable of paying the rent on time, then the guarantor will be someone that the landlord can turn to so that they can get their rent money. A guarantor can also be requested for other reasons as well.
After the rental history of the individual is covered, the next piece of information that will need to be covered is the financial history of the applicant. This will give the landlord an accurate impression of whether or not the applicant will be able to manage to pay the rent for the unit on time. The information will come from the applicant’s current income as well as the savings that they have available to them. To start, the landlord is likely to ask about the employment status of the applicant.
Most will ask for the positions that have been held in the last five years and the companies that they have worked for. In addition, the name of the employer, the job title, and the length of time that they worked at the job will be asked. The name of a supervisor as well as a phone number where they can be contacted will be required in this section as well. Sometimes, the amount of money that is made on an annual basis will be asked in this section so that it can be compared so that the full picture can be grasped.
This section will also ask about other sources of income, which can include lottery winnings, dividends, or a retirement pension. If the income is substantial enough, the other sources of income may be something that they can use. Savings accounts and credit cards may be used as financial history as well, especially if there is a substantial amount in the accounts and the credit cards are in good standing. All of this information combined will allow the landlord to get an accurate impression of their financial situation. In addition, the document may request the applicant to give permission to the landlord to do a credit check on the individual.
When an applicant applies for a rental unit in the state of Kansas, all of the potential residents will not need to be listed on the application. Only the primary applicant will need to be on the application if they have the income levels to support the rent that is required in the unit. If their income is not sufficient, then if there is another applicant, they can fill out an application as well so that both of their income can be considered. Even if the additional roommates are not using their income to apply, the landlord may want to request that the additional individuals fill out at least part of the application so that they have an accurate idea of who will be living on the property.
The information that is requested from the roommates is what the landlord will need. This will allow the landlord to provide access to the roommates when they lose their key or need to get into the unit when the primary tenant is not home. Without this information, the landlord will not be able to help the individual so that they are not liable for allowing them into the unit.
This is a section that will be required for any potential tenants that have a pet that they will want to move in with them or tenants that may be considering adopting a pet in the future. Each rental property in the state of Kansas will differ when it comes to the rules of having pets on the premises, so if there are any rules pertaining to the unit in question, they will need to be written in the application so that the applicant knows what to expect.
Some properties do not allow pets in the units at all. Some will only allow cats, and some will limit the dog populations so that some of the more hostile dogs are not permitted to be on the property. If there are rules that limit the number of pets or the breeds that are permitted on the property, these regulations will need to be listed here. To make sure that the pets do not cause additional damage to the unit, the landlord may request that there is an additional security deposit given for the pets. Other landlords may request that the potential tenant adds on a small fee for each pet that lives in the unit. This will be used to clean pet stains and repair damage, but even $25 a pet can add up quickly when you have a few animals living in the unit.
Personal or Landlord References
When the landlord is trying to get an impression of the applicant, they will typically ask for a few references that they can contact for a character witness for the person. This can be a landlord or a coworker, but it is typically an individual that the applicant has known for a long period of time. The references cannot be a family member, but it can be a close friend that has known the applicant for years. Typically, three references will be requested as well as a number where they can be reached and the number of years that the applicant has known the person listed as a reference.
The next section that will need to be covered will deal with the individual’s personal history. The landlord will be able to ask questions about previous bankruptcy or previous evictions. They can also get a bit of information regarding any previous convictions that the applicant has from the past. Typically, there is a space that can be used for the individual to explain the circumstances that put them in the situation, which will allow the landlord to make an educated decision about the situation and whether they will be a good tenant or not. Any other information that the landlord wants to ask the tenant before they accept them to the unit should be asked here.
The next section of the application is typically a few blank lines that are left for the applicant to inform the landlord of anything that they feel was not covered previously in the application. This could include accommodations for an individual with mobility issues, the possibility of a service dog being needed on the property, or other concerns that the individual may have before moving in.
As with any legal rental documents, the last part of the application that will need to be covered in the signature section. This is where the applicant will need to print and sign their name. This will indicate that all of the information for the applicant is true to the best of their knowledge and that they are giving permission for a background and credit check to be done. The last thing that will need to be on the document is the date that the application was signed.