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The Application Form
What Does the Online Rental Application Look Like?
What Does the Online Rental Application Look Like?
A comprehensive look at the online rental application form that renters interested in your property fill out to apply.
Melissa avatar
Written by Melissa
Updated over a week ago

TurboTenant's rental application provides you with relevant information about a prospective renter’s housing history, employment & income, and living preferences, giving you all the information you need to find the best tenant possible! In the next few sections, we'll be walking you through each section of the application so you understand what we'll be asking of your prospective tenant(s). To make your experience even better, our tenant screenings are free for landlords. The application and screening fee is paid for by the prospective renter by default, however, we also offer the option for the landlord to pay if necessary!

Ready to send someone a rental application? Here's how to invite a renter to apply from TurboTenant.

Note: Each individual applying to the property will need to submit their own application. Multiple applicants to the same property must use unique email addresses.

The application is divided into six sections:

Interactive Walkthrough

Walk yourself through the entire online rental application just like a renter would.

Video Walkthrough

In this brief video, we walk you through the entire online rental application process in TurboTenant.

Basic Information

To begin the application, the applicant must enter their email address and create a password for their tenant portal. If they already have a TurboTenant account, they can select the option to log in and go straight to the application.

Next, they'll select whether they are applying as a tenant or co-signing for someone else. From here, they'll enter important contact information, including:

  • Name

  • Phone number

  • Date of birth

From there, the applicant is taken to the next section of the application, where they provide additional information:

  • Desired move-in date

  • Additional co-applicants (these individuals receive a separate application link)

  • Total number of people living in the property

Residential History

Within the second section of the application, the applicant provides information about their residential history, including the following:

  • Current and past addresses

  • Monthly rent or mortgage

  • Reason for moving

  • Contact information of their previous landlord(s) (applicants who indicate they owned their last home will not be required to submit this information)

Note: Applicants need to provide at least three years of housing history to move beyond this step.

Employment and Income

In the third section, the applicant provides information about their current income situation, including the following:

  • Current and past employers, including compensation

  • Employer contact information

  • Other income sources (Social Security, alimony, parental assistance, etc.) if applicable

  • Current bank or financial institution

General Information: Pets, Smoking, Vehicles, Background, and Emergency Contact

In the fourth section, the applicant answers a few questions about their living habits and preferences/needs, including if they have pets, plan to have vehicles at the property, or smoke.

They can indicate their pet's breed, weight, and age, and even add additional pets as needed. They can also provide details about their vehicle as applicable, such as its make, model, color, and year.

The renter also has an opportunity to make you aware of any special needs or requirements in this section.

Next, the applicant answers a few standard background questions, making you aware of any criminal history, evictions, and other relevant housing histories such as foreclosures.

You can choose what background questions to ask based on your property’s local laws. If you added any custom questions to the application, they will appear in this section as well. Learn more here.

Lastly, your renter will add their emergency contact, any additional comments, and how they found your property.

Document Upload

In the fifth section, the applicant has the opportunity to upload a photo ID, proof of income/employment, and any other documents you request.

Make sure to reach out and let applicants know if you would like them to upload a particular document before they apply. Applicants can go back at any time to update their application, which includes adding more documents as applicable.

Application Fee

In the sixth and final section of the application, the renter is prompted to pay the application fee, which covers the payment for their screening report — keeping this step free for you, the landlord. The screening report consists of your applicant's credit report, criminal history, and past evictions and is provided through TransUnion.

At this point, the applicant has successfully completed their application and created a TurboTenant account. From here, they can monitor the status of their application/screening report, purchase renters insurance, and edit their application info as needed.

TurboTenant Pro Tips

  1. You can easily edit the renter's application after it is received. To update any information, go to that renter’s profile, click on the Application Tab, and then click Edit. This is helpful if any information is missing or there are changes to the original application.

  2. If you wish to receive an applicant's screening report instantly, make sure you enter your phone number and mailing address into your TurboTenant account. Learn more about instant screening reports here.

    If you have your phone and mailing address entered, the applicant will have the option to approve the credit and background check and verify their identity right after completing the application.

  3. Aren't sure how to use applications and screenings to qualify prospective tenants? We have free resources to help! Check out our blogs that break down what a tenant screening report is and how to use screening criteria to find a good tenant.


If I request additional documents, can the applicant upload the requested information, if so, where?

  • The renter can log into their renter portal, click View My Application, and scroll to the Attachments section to upload the requested documents. If they share the documents with you directly, you can edit their application in the Attachments section and upload the documents!

Can I deny an applicant if they are not moving in?

Can a couple, family members, or co-signers use the same application and email address?

  • We highly recommend requiring an application for each person over 18 using a unique email address (even the co-signers). Credit reports, background checks, and eviction history in the US are tied to individual persons and not couples, groups, or families.
    You can find our more about co-signers here, leases with multiple tenants here, and how to use the same email for two people (with Gmail) here.

Can the applicant use their nickname?

  • We recommend they use their legal name when applying to avoid an error when they verify their identity for the screening report!

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