If you are a landlord leasing residential property, you must file a Virginia Rental Application Form. This document is necessary to verify both the credibility and eligibility of any potential tenants.
Last Update August 17th, 2021
What Is a Virginia Residential Rental Application
Landlords use Virginia rental applications to screen and assess potential tenants before committing to an official lease. This legal document allows you to safely and confidentially collect this data from the applicant to make an informed decision on if they are the right option for your rental property.
Rental applications are also sometimes known as:
Applications for a rental property
Rental Lease applications
The rental application document you use must be designed with VA’s statutes in mind. Nevertheless, you can use a rental agreement to collect the following information:
The tenant’s rental history
Information about their income
Details on criminal record and credit history
Personal references for the applicant
Virginia Rental Applications by Type
When you create a rental application in Virginia, there are two types of templates that are most commonly used. Depending on the property, its designation, and the location it’s being rented in, you could need either of the following forms.
Standard/General Virginia rental application: The most common form used by Virginia landlords. These can be adjusted and modified to fit the precise needs of you or a property manager, as well as the data you want to acquire from the applicant.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Rental Application: This is a type of rental application used by owners or managers of Section 8 Housing. The HUD rental application is designed and optimized to screen tenants who qualify for subsidized housing.
What to Include in a Virginia Rental Application Form
Both landlords and tenants need to provide specific information on a Virginia rental application. This is so it complies with state laws and allows an informed decision to be made. The details each party should provide can be seen below.
|Data the Tenant Can Be Asked for||Essential Disclosures from the Landlord|
|Personal data||The property’s condition|
|Rental history||Potential hazards to the tenant|
|Employment details||Shared utility arrangements|
|Income information||Rent control rules|
|Credit history||Smoking policy|
|Smoking policy||The security deposit|
|Permission for background checks||Associated fees|
The information offered by either the landlord or tenant will vary from application to application. However, it is vitally important that both sides get the clearest picture possible about the nature of the lease before signing an agreement.
Virginia Rental Application Laws
Virginia has many rules and statutes regulating its housing market. These must be fully considered when preparing an application for rental properties in the state.
There is no limit in terms of what application fee can be charged by VA landlords. Furthermore, the application fee is non-refundable regardless of its amount.
Landlords cannot charge more than 2 months’ rent if they are leasing an unfurnished apartment under Virginia law ( 55-248.15:1). Once the tenancy has ended, the landlord is required to return the security deposit to the tenant.
Housing Discrimination Law
In Virginia, 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:
As a consequence, you are not allowed to ask for any of these details on a VA 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 Virginia, 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).
FAQs About Virginia Rental Application Form
Understanding what your Virginia 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 Virginia Rental Application
Creating a Virginia 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:
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 Are Credit References on a Virginia Rental Application?
A credit reference is a document that provides information on the credit history of an applicant for a rental property. This may be requested on Virginia rental applications so that landlords can properly assess whether a potential tenant will be able to meet the rental payment schedule.
Do I Need to Ask for a Social Security Number in a Virginia Rental Application?
It is not usually necessary to request a Social Security number (SSN) on a VA 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.