From the Forum – Rental application and fee and Lease to Rent Room in House


Rental application and fee:

“Landlord-to-be here, seeking advice on two questions from the PoPville experts:

First, what rental application do you use? I’ve seen the GCAAR form. Not sure if there are others or if that is the go-to form.

Second, what (if any) application fee do you charge? Do you charge it to everyone who submits an application or only those applicants who look good enough from the application to warrant running a credit check?”

Lease to Rent Room in House:

“I am about to start renting out two rooms in my house. I will continue to occupy one of the bedrooms, and we will share access to the common spaces and outdoors. All of the sample leases I have found online are written for someone renting the entire house or unit. Does anyone have a sample lease they have used to rent out individual rooms in their house?”

You can see all forum topics and add your own here.   If you are having trouble uploading your question to the forum please try clearing your cache. If it still doesn’t work please email me at princeofpetworth(at)gmail

13 Comment

  • We don’t charge an application fee, per se, but we have the applicants pay for the credit/background check. The nice thing about this is that then we don’t need their identifying info for setting up the check (SSN), and they can pay for the service directly. It’s worked out well in the past. In some cases, a tenant has brough a recent credit report and we accepted that in lieu of the credit/background check.

    • On the recommendation of another PoPville person, I used SmartMove (run by TransUnion) to do my tenant’s credit check. You set up an account as a landlord, provide them with the name and e-mail of the prospective tenant, and the tenant takes it from there — supplies his/her SSN directly to SmartMove and and pays for the credit check.

      • Yup, that’s exactly who we use! Works great.

      • That sounds really easy. The only thing is that I like to have them give me a check as part of the screening process (and I never cash the check unless I plan to offer the person a lease–I shred most of the checks I get). It has definitely weeded out a lot of people who either weren’t going to be reliable or weren’t interested enough. Requiring a paper check requires them to plan in advance of seeing me (or to come back and drop off the money quickly) which shows they are interested and that they are capable of giving me money. If someone can’t give me a $20 quickly then I figure there is a good chance I may have a harder time getting the rent money from them each month when the amount is more significant. Again, just don’t be a jerk and cash a check if you aren’t expecting to offer the person a lease. Shred the thing too to protect people’s privacy.

  • I don’t charge an application fee, and I pay for the credit check out of my own pocket for the one applicant who’s about to give me a deposit for the room.

  • On question #2 — I was in a somewhat similar situation. I used a lease from a friend who’d had housemates, and customized it for my own situation (basement tenant with a limited shared area). I can e-mail it to you if you’d like — ask PoP to pass along your e-mail address.

  • I just rented out two rooms in my house (where I also live) and I have a sample lease that I modified from my last full apartment lease. If there is some way to get your email I will send it to you. I’d prefer not to post it online because it has my own identifying information.

    FYI–you’re also required by DC to get a BBL ($190), go through an inspection (+$90 if you don’t pass on the first try), file with the OTR, and file with some other alphabet soup to be exempted from rent control (all units not registered as exempt are subject to rent control).

  • We tell tenants that we will charge a $25 processing fee if they want us to run their credit, but we will waive that if they can produce their own credit report from the last 30 days. Worked every time.

    • I like this idea too, except that I charge 20 since I get reports for about $17. If the person brings a credit report they have shown me they are interested and can be relied on.

Comments are closed.