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A Connecticut rental application form allows landlords to collect relevant information from prospective tenants. With the customization options available, it becomes possible to ensure that even if the default form does not cover all the required bases, it can be modified to the desire of the landlord.

However, it can't just be freely created as it's essential to think about the different rules and regulations that come with rental property management. Here is a comprehensive rundown of all the key information!

Connecticut Rental Applications

As indicated above, requesting the right information is key to a successful tenant qualification process. It's always good to consider what may be the right information for the kind of property and time. The kind of information that's typically requested includes:

  • Rental history details
  • Personal information of all tenants who will occupy the property
  • Income details
  • Consent for credit checks
  • Consent for background checks
  • Employment information
  • Personal references

Beyond this, Connecticut landlords are legally required to make certain disclosures on a rental application. These include:

  • Rent control policy
  • Any fees associated with the process
  • Shared utility details
  • Hazards to consider
  • The condition of the property
  • Smoking policy
  • Security deposit information

What Not To Include

Thanks to the Federal Fair Housing Act, it's against the law for a landlord to discriminate against potential tenants because of any of the following:

  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Nationality
  • Race
  • Disability
  • Familial status

Additional State Law Protection for a Prospective Tenant

Beyond the Federal Fair Housing Act, there are also protections at the state level, which prevent landlords from asking about any of the following classes of information too:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Creed
  • Ancestry
  • Gender identity
  • Military/veteran status
  • Legal source of income
  • Age
  • Marital status

Therefore, it is illegal to request any such data from a prospective tenant. Note, however, that exemptions to the Federal laws here exist, which allow requesting certain pieces of information under special circumstances. For example:

  • If there are family dwellings with no real estate agent representing landlords and the owner occupies a unit, it is exempt from Fair Housing laws
  • In age-specific communities, it may become necessary for landlords to inquire about children

Other Laws

Beyond information protection, some other laws have bearing on the Connecticut Rental Application process. Again, considering them in the preparation of the document to be distributed to each applicant is mandatory.

Background Checks

A background check cannot be conducted without the explicit permission of the applicant being given. This consent is typically requested at application time. It may come in the form of a prepared statement that a potential tenant can affix a signature to for confirmation.

Security Deposit

According to Connecticut statute § 47a-21(14)(b), if an applicant falls below 62 years old, a maximum of two months' rent may be requested in the form of a security deposit. On the other, if the tenant hopeful is over 62 years old, the maximum becomes one month's rent.

Eligibility Notice

Each Connecticut rental application form will come with a set of criteria that are used to screen applicants. It's the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that the points of consideration are clearly communicated to each applicant.

Proof of the sharing of the information must be obtained in the form of an acknowledgment signature, which comes either alongside or with the application. The idea here is to ensure that an applicant knows what may lead to acceptance or rejection of a Connecticut rental document.

Application Fee

There are no federal or state laws that limit the fees associated with a rental application in Connecticut. Typically, it's recommended to charge an amount that is akin to the expected administrative overhead.

For example, there will likely be a multi-layered background check involved in the process. Rental history, credit history, and criminal history may form a part of it. The cost associated with doing all this would be considered in the setting of the application fee. Note that this is a non-refundable charge.

Credit Check Consent

Thanks to a stipulation provided by the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), it's mandatory for a Connecticut rental application process to include gaining consent if a credit check is intended. Written acknowledgment on the application document will typically provide this.

Build Your Own

After reviewing a Connecticut rental application document and collecting whatever fee is applicable, a landlord will consider it against other submissions as the screening process is done in parallel.

Once that is complete, an optimal candidate will be selected to occupy the property. At this point, a lease agreement becomes required. Either of the following pieces of documentation may be used for this post-rental application step:

Final Remarks

The rental application process involves collecting a host of information to ensure that each possible tenant is effectively screened and the best option is the one who gets the property. This may include checks on criminal history, eviction patterns, etc.

However, all of this begins by drafting an appropriate document that adequately captures all the required details. Be sure to customize the standard one as desired if it falls short of expectations.

FAQs

Does a Tenant Need to Know Why a Rental Application Was Rejected Following Screening in Connecticut?

This depends on why the rejection is happening. For example, if a consumer report such as criminal history is at play, then the "adverse action" process would be in effect. In this case, there's a legal requirement to provide a notice letter to the applicant with details of the matter and the reporting agency.

Can Prospective Tenants Request a Refund of Application Fees?

No. An application fee is non-refundable, regardless of the success or failure associated with the rental application process.

What's the Maximum Security Deposit a Landlord Can Request in Connecticut?

Based on § 47a-21(14)(b), landlords can request a maximum of two months' rent when applicants with hopes of renting the premises are below 62 years old. However, if the person is over 62 years, the maximum must be equal to a single month of rent.

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David Bitton

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!