Congratulations on taking the step to become a landlord! Now that you’re ready to accept rental applications, there are a couple of things you might be wondering. What kind of questions should you ask on the application? What questions are you not permitted to ask? While it varies for every state, the state of Florida has a few specific rules to follow when preparing a rental application.
Why Are There Questions You Can’t Ask?
Now, you might be asking why there are questions that aren’t acceptable to ask. Simply put, asking certain questions on a rental application is a form of discrimination. If an applicant feels they are being discriminated against, they can file a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. In fact, housing is one of the most common areas complained about to the FCHR. How do you avoid this? Don’t worry, it’s simple.
Rental Application Questions in Florida – The Bad
When you’re preparing your online rental application, be sure to avoid questions that can be considered discriminatory. Asking questions that apply to any of the following categories is inappropriate:
- Sexual Orientation
- Relationship Status
- Ethnicity or Country of Origin
You should also know that, unless your community is age specific (such as a senior community), you cannot deny applicants who have children under 18, although you may ask for ages of potential residents.
Rental Application Questions – The Good
It’s important to make sure your potential tenant understands the entire application process. Asking for basic information on a rental application is perfectly fine and you can do so using the RentApp tool so tenants can apply online. References are often key, as you’ll be able to ask about potential tenants fairly. Fellow property owners and employers are some of the most common references.
Another area to ask about is employment history and income, as this directly pertains to the tenant’s ability to pay their rent. If you intend to do a credit check, be sure to inform them of this. This will also help provide information about their financial security.
Ultimately, your questions can be thorough, but must be unbiased in regards to a tenant’s physical characteristics. Keeping these regulations in mind can make your tenant selection process easier and provide you with residents who are perfect for your property.
Sign-up for RentApp today and begin accepting Florida rental applications online, for free! Start processing more applications faster. You can even collect application fees by credit card and easily screen your prospective Florida renters. Learn more today.