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Pennsylvania Rental Application Form

Prepare a printable Pennsylvania rental application form to help you vet prospective tenants for your property. Customize your screening document with easy instructions and professional templates.

Last Update April 19th, 2022

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What Is a Pennsylvania Residential Rental Application

A Pennsylvania rental application is a legal document used by landlords and property managers to assess and choose an appropriate tenant for a rental property. They are sometimes known by other common names such as:

  • Tenant applications 

  • Rental lease applications

  • Lease applications

  • Applications for a rental property

Each renter over 18 that will occupy the residence must complete their own individual tenant form.

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.

Pennsylvania Rental Applications by Type

There are two main types of rental applications in Pennsylvania. You must select the most relevant one depending on the type of property being rented, local laws, and the type of leasing agreement that will be used. 

Standard/General Pennsylvania Rental Application

The most common type of vetting document used by PA landlords is the PA Standard Rental Application. This form can be customized according to the specific necessities of the property owner or manager. 

Department of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) Rental Application 

Landlords of low-income tenants or those offering Section 8 Housing should use a HUD rental application. It is specifically designed to only include information that is allowed under subsidized housing rules.

What to Include in a Pennsylvania Rental Application Form

When you fill in a simple rental application form for Pennsylvania 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:

  • Personal data

  • Rental history

  • Employment details

  • Income information

  • Credit history

  • Personal references

  • Permission for background checks

Additionally, the landlord must provide several legal disclosures on a standard rental application. They must report information on:

  • The property’s condition

  • Potential hazards to the tenant

  • Shared utility arrangements

  • Rent control rules

  • Smoking policy

  • The security deposit

  • Associated fees

Pennsylvania Rental Application Laws

Pennsylvania has many rules and statutes regulating its housing market. These must be fully considered when preparing an application for rental properties in the state. 

Application Fee

This law states that there is no limit in terms of what application fee can be charged by Pennsylvania landlords. Furthermore, the application fee is non-refundable regardless of its amount.

Security Deposit

Landlords cannot charge more than 2 months’ rent if they are leasing an unfurnished apartment under PA law (§ 250.511 and § 250.512). This deposit must be returned within 30 days of the tenant moving out. 

Housing Discrimination Law

In Pennsylvania, there is no specific state law relating to housing discrimination. However, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) is in place. The FHA states that it is illegal to discriminate based on the following characteristics: 

  • Race

  • Color

  • Nationality

  • Religion

  • Sex

  • Familial status

  • Disability

  • Criminal history

As a consequence, you are not allowed to ask for any of these details on a Pennsylvania Rental Application form nor to include them in the decision-making process. 

Notice of Eligibility

Potential tenants must be informed about the screening criteria and reasons for denial or approval. To prove that these facts were shared, a signature of acknowledgment must be provided within the application or alongside it. 

Consent Credit Check

Within Pennsylvania, a federal law is in effect that requires potential renters to provide written consent for a credit history check during the application process. This is known as the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Pennsylvania Rental Application Sample

It’s sensible to look over the template for a Pennsylvania 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.

FAQs About Pennsylvania Rental Application Form

Understanding what your Pennsylvania rental application can and cannot do is vital before you create your own from scratch. Find out more about how these screening documents work and what you need to know when writing them.

How to Fill Out a Pennsylvania Rental Application

Creating a Pennsylvania rental application can be easily done with the help of our contract maker and template tools. When you fill out a rental application form you will usually request the following information from the tenant:

  • Personal data

  • Rental history

  • Employment details

  • Income information

  • Credit history

  • Personal references

  • Permission for background checks

You must also include important legal disclosures on the property and the lease agreement being proposed. This will outline details on the condition of the property, any hazards, and information on details such as security deposit and fees. Our template designer will help you add the data that must be added.

What Cannot Be Asked on Rental Applications in Pennsylvania?

You cannot ask tenants a number of questions when you are vetting them with a PA rental application document. You must not request any of the following information from the applicant during this process:

  • Race or ethnicity 

  • Religion

  • Sexuality

  • Immigration or citizenship status

  • Arrest records

  • Marital or familial status

  • Whether they have children or not

Do I Need to Ask for a Social Security Number in a Pennsylvania Rental Application?

It is not usually necessary to request a Social Security number (SSN) on a Pennsylvania 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. 

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