How to Use Formstack to Build a Renter’s Application

Written by Jeff on January 31, 2013

Posted in Form Hacks

A few months back, I decided to move to Chicago and needed a way to rent out my home in Indianapolis. I had bought the house at a young age and lived with my parents beforehand, so my rental experience was zilch. My target move date was 3 months away, and I was very apprehensive about finding the right tenants. Luckily, Formstack made it a breeze.

When I started looking for tenants, I first posted an ad on Craigslist with photos of my house and rental information. Within 10 minutes I got a phone call! Shortly after, I had 2 more interested parties email me for more information. This was exciting! Maybe it was going to be easier than I thought…

However, as more prospective renters started to contact me, everybody had the same question: when can I come by to see the place? I wasn’t interested in running a “Jeff’s Home Tour & Scheduling” agency. I had better things to do! Plus, who wants to show their home to people who may not even be that interested in the first place?

To combat this issue, I created a rental application on Formstack. Using examples I found online, I created the form and tested it in about 15 minutes. I started sending prospective tenants the form’s URL with the message: “If you’d like to schedule a visit, please fill out this Rental Application.” Of about 20 people that contacted me, only 3 filled out the application. But each of those applicants got a tour of my home, and I was able to schedule them all on the same day! I then was armed with information on prospective tenants’ rental history, employment status, and a list of references, which made the screening process a cinch.

Though the form is a bit lengthy, luckily we made it simple for anyone to create this application by adding it to our pre-built form templates. Just click “Create a New Form” and choose Rental Application from the Pre-Built Form pull-down menu.

Elements of the application are below. For requesting credit history on prospective tenants, I suggest using these resources:

Equifax for Landlords
Experian Tenant Screening

Rental Application Elements

1. Contact Information
2. Rental History

  • Landlord contact information
  • Previous rent amount

3. Background

  • Previous felonies or unpaid rent?
  • References’ contact information

4. Employment

  • Conditional logic options if employed or unemployed
  • If employed, current income and employer contact information
  • If unemployed, contact information for a guarantor

Hopefully this application simplifies your rental process like it did mine. Questions or comments? Leave them below!