Whenever a potential tenant wants to indicate interest in a rental property in Alaska, the process starts by filling out a rental application form. The landlord will then use the document to conduct a screening process.
The idea is to rent the property to the best applicant in the pool. Unfortunately, this process is not as straightforward as it seems. There are legal implications involved, such as a series of items that cannot be requested on an Alaska rental application form.
When a third-party screening service provider is used, many of these concerns become none existent as they understand the legal limits and how to evaluate eligibility.
Here is a quick rundown of all you need to know before a potential tenant gets to the point of having a rental application form approved.
What To Include
The idea of the rental application document is to help landlords collect relevant information from each prospective applicant. The data should be relevant to the selection process. Some of the typical items that may be asked for include:
- Personal information of all intended tenants
- Rental history
- Income details
- Employment history
- Credit check consent
What Not To Include
On the flip side, thanks to the Federal Fair Housing Act (FHA), landlords are prohibited from requesting certain protected classes of information. The said act will limit you from inquiring about:
- Familial status
- Disability status
No landlord should ask an applicant any of these things, nor should they play any part in the selection process when the date to choose the successful tenant for rental comes around.
Application Fees and Security Deposits
Alaska is not a state that imposes any limits on what landlords can charge an applicant for a rental application. Furthermore, the designation of whether the fee is refundable or not must be made. Typically, landlords are recommended to charge their applicants based on the cost of the rental screening process.
For example, a third-party entity may be hired to handle background checks on credit, criminal history, etc., and this will come at a cost. These charges can be passed to prospective tenants.
Note, however, that the state does place a cap on what can be charged where security deposits are concerned. The maximum allowed security deposit is two months' rent. Note, however, that where a property for rental will cost more than, $2,000, this limit is no longer in effect.
The rental application process may see different kinds of background checks being required to completely screen an applicant.
The first is the credit check, which requires consent. This written consent is usually provided when the applicant is filling out the Alaska rental application form. The check is meant to determine an applicant's credit score, income, past addresses, credit inquiries, and more.
There is also the criminal history check, which aims to access information on any state-recorded crimes that the applicant may have been involved in. Registry at the national level such as the sex offender registry is also considered.
Finally, there is the rental history element, which aims to discover any evictions that may have taken place.
Eviction Record Search
Before you rent your space to anyone in Alaska, you may be interested in knowing about any previous eviction decision that was taken against them. This is publicly accessible information, so there no violation of rights is taking place.
The Alaska Cortview website has all the details when such a search is in order.
Adverse Action Notices
During the screening element of the rental application process, information may come across about a tenant who decided to apply that is less than favorable. This could be credit-based, eviction based, etc.
You may wish to deny any such applications or take another adverse action including raising the rental cost or requesting that a second signature is provided, which wouldn't have been a requirement before.
Should you take this decision, you will be required to provide the person who submitted the rental application with an adverse action notice, even if the contents of the report that was run don't constitute your main reason for your decision. There is then a 60-day window from the date of the notice that the person has to enter a dispute process.
Build Your Own
After receiving any report you requested and the application review process is complete, the time to search for a renter will come to an end and you will accept one of the said application submissions. The next step is to create a lease agreement, which will also need to have certain required information. Consider the following options:
The Bottom Line
There's a lot that happens during the search for a prime rental candidate. A credit report, eviction history review, and other information will all be used to decide who is successful. Consider tapping into the screening services and application customization services of DoorLoop to streamline the process!
What Kind of Security Deposit Holding Requirements Exist in Alaska?
You are required to put the deposit into a separate account though you do not need to provide a receipt.
What if a Landlord Is Not Comfortable with the Criminal History of a Potential Tenant?
An adverse action notice can be submitted with the essential information, the agency that the report came from, and the main reason for the choice.
What Does a Credit Report Include?
It includes a credit score, salary details, passed addresses, previous credit inquiries, and more!