California Realtors Association Rental Application

One of the most thorough California residential rental applications is the California Realtors Association Rental Application. Get a PDF Version or Digital Version of this application by signing up to PreApproved Renter.

California Realtors Association Rental Application Header

California Realtors Association Rental Application is the Gold Standard

This application is the standard for all other rental applications in California. We have converted the PDF version of the application to digital form here at Here’s a sample link to our digital version.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at the California Association of Realtors PDF version of this application and break it down section by section.

California Association of Realtors Rental Application Premises Information

Number of Tenants and Premises Information

The first line asks about the number of tenants who will be living in the home. This includes the primary and co-tenant (if there is one), and any other person planning to live on the property in the home. Children, in-laws, siblings, friends, all must be listed on the application.  It also clarifies if the applicant is a guarantor/co-signer or an applicant.

The next part of the application refers to the premise’s information. The tenant must enter in the address and/or apartment number.

Also asked is the agreed-upon amount $ of rent, and the agreed move-in date of the tenant as per the agreement between you and/or your company and the prospective tenant.

All these questions allow a landlord, real estate agent or property manager quickly draft a lease with the terms and parties.

California Association of Realtors Rental App - Personal Information

Personal Information

This part of the California Realtors Association Rental Application is very important, perhaps the most important. You will need to collect the prospective tenant’s personal information in order to run a background check, credit check, and other background information.

The tenant must enter their full legal name. First, last and middle names must be entered into this line for the background check. The next line is for the prospective tenant to enter their social security number. Both their legal name and social security number are required for their credit check and background check.

Their driver’s license must be entered next, along with the issuing state and expiration date of the license. The license number allows their information to be found quickly during a background check. If they do not have a driver’s license, a state-issued I.D card or even a pistol permit with photo I.D (from certain states), has the same information as a driver’s license and can be used.

Contact information is entered in the next few lines, including cell and home phone numbers and their email address in order to be able to get in contact with the prospective tenant quickly.

Additional Tenants

The next part of the application is very important, here the applicant must list all the other people that will be living in the rental unit with the main tenant. They must list everyone, including children. If there are adult occupants a separate background checks and applications should be required.

The next line asks about pets and/or service animals. All the animals you plan to have in the home must be listed in the next line. If the property does not allow pets, any listed animals will be a red flag to the owner of the property.

The number and type of automobiles are entered in the next line. Depending on the rental unit, this is a very important piece of information. If the unit is in an apartment complex, the space available for vehicles is limited and being able to identify tenant’s vehicles and other vehicles that may be parked for an extended period is important to the landlord/company renting the home.

Emergency contact information is added next to the tenant’s application. Things happen in life, and having a next of kin allows notification in an emergency.

The next question may sound funny, but it certainly is not. The question asks if the tenant is planning to use any liquid-filled furniture in the home. This includes water-beds and fish tanks. The reason for this question is the concern of water damage to the home should that pieces of furniture be damaged or destroyed. Water damage can cause rot, mold, and a host of other serious issues and Landlords have a right to know about any potential hazard to their home in the form of liquid-filled furniture.

California Association of Realtors Rental Application Background Check Information

The next three questions are geared towards the background and credit history of the prospective tenant. This information will determine the eligibility of the tenant rent the property. Depending on location, this can also determine the legality of a tenant occupying certain homes. Sexual offenders are forbidden by law from living in some locations and by law must be kept away from schools and access to children.

The first question asks if the prospective tenant has ever had to file bankruptcy or been a party to an unlawful detainer action? Bankruptcy and bad credit does not necessarily cause an applicant to be rejected, it is very common post-2008. Reckless financial decisions and reckless debt are red flags, however. These will likely be cross referenced on any credit reports run.

The next questions ask the applicant if they or any other person who will live in the home, have been convicted or have pled no contest to a felony. There are different types of felonies and not every former convict is a danger. However, certain felony convictions may legally affect the legality of allowing a tenant to live in a certain area.

The next questions asks if the prospective tenant or any other person that will be living in the home has ever been asked to leave a rental property before. There can be a variety of reasons for this, not all of them bad. What landlords and rental owners are looking for is non-payment, and or damage to the rental property. Much of this information will be cross referenced in a tenant eviction report.

California Association of Realtors Rental Residence history

Residence and Employment History

This next part of the California Realtors Rental Application asks about residence and employment history.

The application asks for the last two residences (if applicable) of the prospective tenant. This includes out of state residences. This question is geared towards the background check aspect of the application and makes conducting credit and background check easy for the landlords/owners of the property. This information can be used in the “Address Comparison” of a credit report to see if the person applying is in fact who they say they are.

Next is what Landlords want to see the most, proof of income, specifically in employment history. The prospective tenant must list his current line of work, employment, and salary. Self-employed people will need to enter this information here as well. Rental homeowners need to look at this carefully to determine if the applicant can afford to rent the home.

If the rent is $1500 a month, and the applicant and co-applicant bring in $1900 a month, it’s most likely not going to work. But if the client has other forms of income and can afford the home, this also must be disclosed to the homeowner. Asking the prospective tenant to disclose other forms of income can determine if they will be able to afford the rental unit.

It is a great time to remember the average eviction costs $5,000-$10,000. That is money that the landlord will have to pay, not the person being evicted. Most landlords want to see a tenant making 40x the monthly rent.

Credit and References for CAR Rental App

Credit Information and References

This next part asks the applicant to list their credit information. This includes car payments, cell phone, mortgage (if applicable), and other monthly payments. This shows the tenant’s payment history and if they are reliable. It also allows a landlord to calculate a tenants debt-to-income ratio.

The next part asks about the tenant’s bank information and balance at the time of application. This is to be sure the tenant has a US account and the funds to be able to pay for their monthly rent and first month’s deposit.

Personal References are asked for in the next section. Four people who can vouch for the prospective tenant’s character, responsibility and ability to pay. Nearest relatives are asked for next. This can include siblings, cousins, parents, etc.

Disclaimer and Declaration for CAR Rental Application

Disclaimer and Declaration

This section of the rental application of the California Realtors Association provides a legal disclaimer for the landlord. In the disclaimer, it is made clear to the prospective tenant that (a) he is not guaranteed a tenancy; (b) the landlord may be considering more than one applicant for the tenancy and is permitted to select the most qualified applicant; and (c) the landlord is entitled to request a copy of the applicant’s drivers license.

In the declaration section, the applicant is required to sign and date the application. In doing so, the applicant is attesting that the statements made in the application are true and correct, to the best of his or her knowledge.

Tenant Screening Fee for California

Screening Fee

In this section, the applicant is advised that he or she has paid a screening fee, and told that the fee may not exceed $35 per California tenant screening laws. The advisory also includes exactly how the screening fee is to be applied by the landlord, and both the landlord and applicant sign the section acknowledging receipt and usage of the fee.


The California Association Realtors Rental Application is one of the most thorough rental applications for California landlords. It sets the gold standard for other applications in the state. To get a digital copy sign up to PreApproved Renter.