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What is the Difference between the Rental Applications vs. Screening Reports?
What is the Difference between the Rental Applications vs. Screening Reports?

Learn the difference between a rental application and a screening report along with why it's important to require both.

Marketing Team avatar
Written by Marketing Team
Updated over a week ago

When you’re looking to fill a vacant unit, you may be tempted to accept the first lead who submits their screening report. But to find the best tenant, you should require both the screening report and a rental application.

What is a Rental Application?

TurboTenant's rental application provides you with relevant information about a prospective renter’s housing history, employment & income, and living preferences.

We recommend submitting the rental application before screening a prospective tenant. Oftentimes, reviewing the application will give you a good idea about whether or not the individual will meet your rental criteria.

What is a Screening Report?

TurboTenant’s screening report is a document that outlines the prospective tenant’s credit history, criminal record, and eviction history*.

There is no cost to the landlord to receive the screening report, as the renter incurs the fee. Get more information about requesting the report.

*Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, South Dakota, New Jersey, and Wyoming are seven states for which TransUnion will not provide criminal history. New York eviction history will also no longer be displayed on reports. This is in accordance with state laws.

What’s the Difference Between the Application and Screening Report?

Rental applications and screening reports are crucial tools for successful landlords, though each document provides different information. While screening reports are helpful on their own, the rental application can provide key details that you would otherwise miss, including the prospective tenant’s residential history, and comprehensive employment history.

Don’t leave any stones unturned in your hunt for your next renter. Take advantage of all the information at your fingertips by using our easy rental application and screening report combination, which is free for landlords!

The Application Process for Landlords

First, invite your prospective tenant to apply through your dashboard. You’ll provide their contact information, select which property you’d like them to apply to, and then we’ll send them a message by text, email, or both with a link directly to the application.

TurboTenant will send you an email once their application has been submitted. To find the tenant’s application and screening report, click the Applicants tab, then navigate to the tenant in question.

Pro Tip: Make sure you enter your phone number and mailing address into your TurboTenant account. If this information is in your account, the applicant will have the option to approve the credit and background check along with verifying their identity upon completing their application.

The Application Process for Prospective Tenants

It should be mentioned that your prospective tenant will be notified of your invitation to apply for your property via text, email, or both text and email. The applicant can fill out the application by clicking on the link within that message.

The application is divided into six sections:

  1. Basic Information

  2. Housing History

  3. Employment and Income

  4. Pets, Smoking, Vehicles, and Background

  5. Document Upload

  6. Application Fee

They will be asked to pay the $55 application fee, which includes the screening report.

For Premium landlords: Your renters' app fees are only $45.

For a deep dive into the application process for tenants, including screenshots of every section they’ll be asked to complete, check out this article.

The Screening Report Process for Landlords

  1. Log in and click the Applicants tab

  2. Click Request Screening Report under the relevant applicant’s name

  3. Upon requesting the applicant’s screening report, they’ll be sent an email prompting them to verify their identity

  4. Once they authorize the report, you’ll be notified via email

  5. Log into your TurboTenant account, then click the Applicants tab and navigate to your prospective tenant

  6. Click View Screening Report to review their screening report

  7. Alternatively, you can click View Applicant, then click on the Screening Report tab

Helpful Articles

The Screening Report Process for Prospective Tenants

  1. The prospective tenant will receive an email prompting them to verify their identity

  2. They will be asked to authorize you to view their credit report and answer a few auto-generated identity verification questions provided by TransUnion

    Please note: The screening report provided by TransUnion performs a soft pull on the applicant's credit history, and will not impact the applicant's credit score.

Still have questions? Reach out to our team at [email protected] for additional assistance.

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