- What is a Florida Residential Rental Application
- Florida Rental Applications by Type
- What to Include in a Florida Rental Application Form
- Florida Rental Applications Laws
- Florida Rental Application Sample
- Rental Application FAQs
Florida Rental Application
What is a Florida Residential Rental Application
A Florida residential rental application is a legal document used by landlords and property managers to review and screen potential tenants. This is an essential step in the rental process before committing to a fully-fledged lease.
Other names for this form include:
Rental lease application
Application for rental property
Having a rental application can prove highly important to make sure you get the right tenant into your property. The process of screening prospective residents in this way allows you to discover any issues such as their inability to pay rent or the likelihood to cause a nuisance before signing a contract.
Florida Rental Applications by Type
There are two main types of Florida rental applications that you can create. The variety you choose ultimately depends on the type of property being rented, local laws, and the kind of tenant that you will be housing.
Standard/General Florida Rental Application
Standard Florida rental applications are the most common type of screening documents used by landlords. They can be customized for the specific necessities of an individual property owner or manager.
Department of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) Rental Application
A HUD rental application is designed for landlords renting property to low-income tenants or those offering Section 8 Housing. It is specially formatted to only ask for information that is allowed under subsidized housing rules.
What to Include in a Florida Rental Application Form
When you fill in a simple rental application form for Florida you’ll need to ask for some crucial data from the tenant to make the vetting process as effective as possible.
When you create your own application for rental you should request the following information:
Permission for background checks
Furthermore, landlords must make a number of important disclosures on a standard rental application form. This information might include:
The property’s condition
Potential hazards to the tenant
Shared utility arrangements
Rent control rules
The security deposit
Florida Rental Applications Laws
Florida state has specific laws for how rental applications can be used. These place limits on the information you may request and on how you choose your tenant.
You must make sure your document is compliant with Florida law. If you don’t you could potentially get sued by the applicant if they think that you have discriminated against them or have illegally gathered information about them.
There is no limit on what you may charge as an application fee in Florida. However, to keep your rental real estate competitive with the market you shouldn’t charge more than the amount necessary to cover your costs in verifying the tenant.
Florida doesn’t set any limits on how much you can charge as a security deposit. However, it is recommended not to charge more than 1-2 months rent for this amount access to Florida Statutes Annotated sections § 83.49 and § 83.43(12).
Housing Discrimination Law
You must follow the Fair Housing Act (FHA) when you check tenants with a Florida rental application. This is a federal law that doesn’t allow you to discriminate against applicants for the following reasons:
Race or ethnicity
Consent to Credit Checks
According to the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you must obtain consent before running any background or credit checks about a housing applicant. The rental application allows you to collect this consent from them by having them approve and sign a statement authorizing the checks.
Florida Rental Application Sample
It’s sensible to look over the template for a Florida rental application before starting your own. This can help to give you a better idea of what your final form will look like and the kind of information you’ll need to add to it.
Rental Application FAQs
Having a good idea of what you can and cannot use a Florida rental application for is important. In our FAQs below, we explain what is and isn’t allowed when you create your own form.
What Is The Screening Process in Florida?
When you wish to rent out your property to a tenant you can use a Florida rental application to check the potential resident before they move in. This allows you to get important background information from the applicant.
In Florida you might use a rental application to find out any of the following about a prospective tenant:
Whether they can afford rent or not
If they have a positive or negative rental history
If they are employed
Their credit history
Whether they have committed any crimes or felonies
How to Fill Out a Florida Rental Application?
When you create a rental application for Florida, you need to make sure that you request the right data. This will help you make an effective decision on the candidate.
On the form you can request any of the following information:
Permission for background checks
What Questions Can’t You Ask In a Florida Rental Application?
Under Florida and US law you may not collect certain data on tenants. If you use a rental application to do so you risk being sued by the applicant for discrimination.
You must not ask any questions about or require data on the following subjects about the tenant on your Florida rental application:
Race or ethnicity
Immigration or citizenship status
Marital or familial status
Whether they have children or not
Do I Need to Ask for a Social Security Number in a Florida Rental Application?
It is not usually necessary to request a Social Security number (SSN) on a Florida rental application. However, you may consider requesting this data from an applicant if you want to run certain background checks on them.
Additionally, you must always get written permission from the tenant on the application form if you want to use their SSN. When you handle someone else’s Social Security information you always need consent first and must disclose that you will properly handle this data.
These days, most screening companies can obtain the applicant’s SSN directly by requesting it securely from the applicant via email. Remember, however, that you must always inform the potential tenant and have their permission before you run any background checks.