Rental Verification Form

Last Updated: January 22, 2023 by Robert Bailey

A Rental Verification Form is a form landlords send to a rental applicant’s former landlord to verify information provided by them regarding their rental history. This form may be used to verify basic rental history (e.g., length of tenancy, rent amount, etc.) as well as more detailed questions about the applicant’s tenancy.

Why Use a Rental Verification Form?

Selecting a new tenant is an important decision for landlords. Whether or not an applicant provides any landlord reference letters, it is a good idea to send Rental Verification Forms to verify an applicant’s rental history. Using this form provides the following benefits:

  • Accuracy of Rental Application – Typically, the first step in the rental process is having an applicant fill out a rental application. Sending this form to a past landlord can help verify parts of the rental application, specifically the applicant’s rental history.
  • Financial Resources – While there are other ways to verify an applicant’s financial resources, one of the best ways is by confirming that they have consistently paid their rent on time in their past tenancies. Not only will you be able to verify whether they made timely payments but you can also confirm the monthly amount they were able to afford.
  • Tenant Behavior – This form can also be used to obtain a better understanding of how the tenant behaved during their tenancy. While it is important to confirm timely payments, it is often more important to make sure there are no major red flags about their behavior. This form can provide information on how a tenant has interacted with other neighbors, former landlords, and how they have treated the property.

Before verifying an applicant’s rental history, there are some important things to consider. Those include:

  1. Written or Oral Verification – While a landlord can certainly verify information over the phone, it is better practice to have the information in writing. Not only will it help when analyzing all of the applicant’s information, but it can also be important if a landlord is subject to a lawsuit for discrimination based on not accepting an applicant as a tenant.
  2. Consent – Make sure that you get the consent of the applicant before you send the form to a past landlord. The best way to do this is to include a request to contact previous landlords as part of the rental application. If the applicant is reluctant it may be helpful to explain the reason for doing so and that this is standard practice for all applicants.
  3. Convenience – Make it easy for the former landlord to provide the completed verification form. Email is probably the most efficient way. If you plan to send it by regular mail make sure you include a completed return envelope with paid postage.
  4. Private Information – Make sure the former landlord only provides you with what you requested and what the applicant gave you consent to obtain. They should not provide you with any private information or information that requires additional consent such as their credit score.

What to Include in a Rent Verification Form

A Rent Verification Form should begin with a short letter to the former landlord. The letter should include the following:

  1. Date
  2. Former landlord’s name and address
  3. Professional greeting
  4. Introduction of yourself
  5. Reference to the specific property you manage that is the subject of your request
  6. The applicant’s name (for the landlord receiving the form, this would be their tenant or former tenant)
  7. Purpose of the letter and form
  8. Rental property address you are requesting verification
  9. Request to complete the Rent Verification Form
  10. Contact information for sending the completed form (e.g., email)
  11. Your contact information if the landlord wants to speak directly to you
  12. Your signature
  13. Your name

Following this brief letter will be the questions you want verified by the landlord. While you may ask the landlord to verify any information you want, here are some of the most common questions included in a Rent Verification Form:

  1. Has the named tenant rented from you?
  2. What was the tenant’s monthly rent amount?
  3. Has the tenant ever been late in paying their rent?
  4. Has the tenant ever been more than 30 days late in paying their rent?
  5. If still a tenant, are they current on their rent?
  6. Did you ever send the tenant a notice for any violations of their lease agreement?
  7. Has the tenant caused any damage, in excess of normal wear and tear, to their rental property?
  8. Has the tenant ever been the subject of complaints from other tenants or neighbors?
  9. If the tenant’s lease has ended, what was the basis for their lease ending?
  10. If the tenant’s lease has ended, did they leave the rental unit in good working order and clean when they left?
  11. If the tenant’s lease has ended, did they provide proper notice that they were not renewing their lease?
  12. Does the tenant owe you any money for any reason?
  13. Did/does the tenant have any pets at the rental property?
  14. Did/does the tenant have any people that live with them at this rental property?
  15. Would you rent to this tenant again?

If the landlord provides concerning information, or it is inconsistent with what the applicant provided, you may need to have a further conversation with the applicant to discuss what was provided in the form. Both parties may have reasons for providing inaccurate information so it will be up to the landlord to determine who’s information is more reliable and how to proceed.

What’s Next?

After you have reviewed the rental verification form, if you are still considering them as a tenant, it is time to continue to take any other necessary steps in screening the tenant.

If you decide to accept an applicant as a new tenant you can move forward with preparing and signing the lease agreement and sending them a tenant welcome letter.