Understanding the Rental Application Process

Renters, use these tips to navigate the tenant screening process used by landlords and property management companies.

The rental application process can feel overwhelming if you are a first-time renter with no experience applying to rent a property. Even those who have previously rented a home may find themselves confused by the tenant screening process used by landlords and property management companies. Fortunately, this guide can help make the rental application process straightforward and easy to understand.

Why Are Rental Applications Necessary?

Simply put, landlords are looking for high-quality tenants for their rental properties. They are seeking to fill their North Carolina rental homes with tenants who pay rent consistently, do not cause problems with the neighbors and treat the rental property with care. The information gathered in the rental application helps improve the odds of renting to tenants who fit into this category.

Tenant Screening from Rental Application Information

There is no one-size-fits-all rental application and tenant screening process. Landlords and property managers often use similar criteria for approving or rejecting rental applications, but how they weigh and use the information received from applications will likely differ. Most rental applications ask for information which will be used to verify your employment and income, run a credit check and criminal background check, verify your prior addresses and rental history, check for previous evictions and possibly look at personal references.

Rejecting Rental Applications

A potential tenant’s rental application may be rejected for a number of reasons. Business and financial criteria such as low credit scores, late payments, not meeting an income minimum, etc. often weigh heavily in the decision to reject a tenant’s rental application. A history of evictions or rental property damage, particular criminal convictions and other criteria related to personal history factor into a rental application rejection. In some cases, a landlord may impose other lease requirements (additional month’s rent upfront, larger security deposit or lease cosigner) instead of rejecting an application.

Discriminatory Practices During Rental Application Process

Landlords can use whatever screening criteria they desire, as long as they are applying these standards in a non-discriminatory manner. If landlords ask a question of one type of potential tenant, they must uniformly ask it of all individuals who apply to live in their rental properties in order to not be discriminatory. Also, under the Fair Housing Act and other state and local laws, landlords cannot legally reject your application due to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and the presence of children.

Evaluating Applicants on an Individual Basis

Not all property managers or landlords are open to applicants about the tenant screening process. As a professional property management company in North Carolina who believes in total transparency, Red Door Company is happy to share our tenant application selection process with potential tenants. It is part of our policy to also evaluate prospective tenants looking to rent a home in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill on an individual basis.

What does that mean to you? Our rental application process does not have any minimum requirements or automatic disqualifications. There is no minimum credit score or income ratio we require to approve your application when applying to rent a home in North Carolina with Red Door Company. Every applicant is evaluated individually and based on the totality of the applicant’s circumstances. Learn more about our tenant application screening process.