As a landlord, it’s a common method to ask potential tenants to fill out a Massachusetts rental application. After all, you are renting out a property to them and they are really strangers to you.
Because of this, it’s also normal to run history and background checks on potential tenants. Filling out a Massachusetts rental application form isn’t hard, but there are some steps included in the process. Let's see what is a Massachusetts Rental Application and how to create one.
What is (MA) Massachusetts Rental Application?
The rental application of Massachusetts is a normal lease agreement devised for landlords and property supervisors to get information on proposed tenants who have shown interest in renting their property.
Displaying flexibility and equity in the applicant-tenant screening method should be a preference for landlords, as the Federal Fair Housing Act includes strict rules, wanting landlords to take all important steps to avoid creating discrimination against their applicants.
While other states, New Mexico, Hawaii and so on, define a maximum amount to receive as a rental application fee, Massachusetts is different in that it does not allow applicants to be charged for the Ma rental application.
How to Process a Rental Application?
The next step in the tenant screening process is to use the data on the Massachusetts rental application to do a background check:
- Credit Check – Directed to the tenant’s written approval, a credit check will either present a simpler “fail/pass” report, or a complete credit report including the tenant’s credit score and data about their employment, income, previous addresses, credit analyses, etc. Before a landlord can run a credit check based on the proposed tenant’s information on the submitted ma rental application, the Federal Credit Reporting Act needs that written approval must be provided by the applicant.
- Eviction Check – An eviction check tries to show the tenant’s history of eviction filings or judgments on them at any period in the last 7 years. A state-based eviction history check report will show how frequently (if ever) a potential tenant has been evicted from a property. Someone with evictions on their record has a background of multiple evictions. Since tenant laws lean in favor of tenants more than landlords, eviction reports are essential to protect you from expensive fees, lost rent, damages, and the legal dispute of eviction.
- Criminal History Check – A criminal history check shows any records including the tenant in state court criminal records or history such as the national sex offender public registry. Massachusetts expects that rental applicants for employment or residence or professional license with a sealed record on file with the administrator of probation may answer ‘no record’ for an inquiry herein related to prior arrests, criminal court appearances, or punishments.
How to Write a Rental Application in MA?
Here are some outlines of the items you should write to create a Massachusetts rental application:
- Personal Information - This section is mainly about confirming the identity of the tenant applying to the property and getting an impression of who’s applying.
- Property Details - Some details about the vacation rental property are commonly included on a normal rental application as well. The property location is included in the MA rental application. Also, the rent and the security deposit information are usually included.
- Residence History - Residence history includes details like :
- Residence type
- Current address
- Landlord name and contact information
- Reason for moving out
- Move-in/move-out dates
- Employment & Income Information - This part will show you how suitable an applicant is to meet the financial requirements of paying the rental fees per month.
- Employer information - Income and information about the job position.
- Pets & Vehicles - Pet & vehicle information is helpful to make sure there is a good fit between the applicant and your policies.
There will be good and bad applications, choose an applicant who is right for your property. Ask pre-screening questions to choose the application for the next level. To protect against allegations of illegal discrimination, it is always suggested to add the exact reason why the application was not accepted in the refusal letter.