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Free Washington DC Rental Application Form

Prepare a printable Washington DC rental application form to help you vet prospective tenants for your property. Create and customize your document with easy instructions and professional templates.

Last Update September 20th, 2022

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What Is a Washington DC Residential Rental Application

Landlords use Washington DC 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

  • Lease applications

  • Rental Lease applications

  • Tenant applications

The rental application document you use must be designed with DC’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

Washington DC Rental Applications by Type

You will need to choose the correct type of rental application template depending on the people you are renting to and your property’s designation. There are two options to choose from in Washington DC, which can be seen below.

Standard/General Rental Application Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Rental Application
Which landlords can use it? Private landlords Landlords with Section 8 housing
What kind of tenants is it designed for? Any Tenants eligible for subsidized housing

What to Include in a Washington DC Rental Application Form

When you fill in a simple rental application form for Washington DC 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 a rental property, you should request the following information:

  • Personal data

  • Rental history

  • Employment details

  • Income information

  • Credit history

  • Personal references

  • 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

  • Smoking policy

  • The security deposit

  • Associated fees

Washington DC Rental Application Laws

Washington DC state has various laws regarding the use of rental applications. If your document is not compliant with DC law, you may get sued by the applicant and face legal consequences. 

Application Fee

There is no limit in terms of what application fee can be charged by Washington DC landlords. Furthermore, the application fee is non-refundable regardless of its amount.

Security Deposit

Landlords cannot charge more than 1 months’ rent if they are renting out an apartment under Washington DC law (§ 14-308.2). 

Housing Discrimination Law

Washington DC has no specific statutes policing housing discrimination. Nevertheless, the Fair Housing Act (FHA), is enshrined in federal law meaning that landlords may not refuse a tenant for discriminatory reasons.

Under the FHA you may not reject a tenant application for reasons such as their race, religion, sex, family status, or because they have any disabilities. You may also not discriminate against certain types of criminal history (whether a background check is carried out or not) or nationality.

Notice of Eligibility

Tenants must be told about any specific screening criteria, as well as the reasons that they could be denied or approved by the landlord (§ 42–3541.01). To show that this information has been shared, a signature of acknowledgment from the tenant is required.

Consent Credit Check

The Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) stipulates that potential tenants must agree to any credit checks you require. To show they consent, they must provide written acknowledgment on the application form.

Washington DC Rental Application Sample

Looking over a readily prepared template of a rental application can make it much easier to create your own. Review our document sample below to get more familiar with what your application form will look like when it’s completed.

FAQs About Washington DC Rental Application Form

Understanding what your Washington DC 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.

What to Include in a Washington DC Rental Application

Creating a Washington DC 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 aspects 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 Washington DC 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 Washington DC rental applications so that landlords can properly assess whether a potential tenant will be able to meet the rental payment schedule.

What Cannot Be Asked on Rental Applications in Washington DC?

You cannot ask tenants a number of questions when you are vetting them with aWashington DC 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

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