California Rental Application Form
A California rental application form is a document residential property managers use to find viable tenants.
The time it takes to complete the form and the application fee screen out casual applicants. Details such as income, credit history, and rental history help landlords narrow down the field of applicants to ideal tenants. The form also helps ensure the application process is fair and without discrimination.
Rental Application Fee
By completing a rental application form, a potential tenant authorizes the landlord to perform background checks. Landlords can require an application fee to cover the costs of these checks.
The state of California sets a maximum fee a landlord can charge a prospective tenant for a rental application. This amount is adjusted yearly according to the Consumer Price Index. As of December 2021, the maximum fee is $55.58 per applicant. Most application fees fall in the $30 to $50 range.
Lessors may not charge an application fee if no home is currently available. And, if the fee is not used to obtain a consumer credit report, the lessor must return the payment with a written receipt.
California state law sets two months’ rent as the security deposit amount for an unfurnished house or apartment and three months’ rent for a furnished house or apartment. (CA Civ Code § 1950.5 (2016))