Before offering a lease agreement your Connecticut rental property, you should vet prospective tenants through a rental application.
Rental applications in Connecticut can help uncover relevant information about a tenant’s financial situation, rental and credit history, criminal background, and any previous evictions.
In addition to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which protects renters from discrimination based on their race, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, familial status, or disability, Connecticut state laws provide additional provisions for individuals based on:
- Marital status
- Military service
- Lawful source of income
For these reasons, landlords can’t use questions on a Connecticut rental application to discriminate against prospective tenants.
Connecticut Rental Application Fees
Connecticut allows property owners to charge a rental application fee to cover the cost of background checks and other expenses associated with processing an application.
- No state law limits how much you can charge for a rental application fee, but the amount should be approximate to the cost of processing the application.
- According to Connecticut Gen. Stat. § 47a-21, a landlord can not charge a security deposit of more than two months’ rent for a tenant under 62 years of age. For renters aged 62 or older, a landlord can not charge more than one month’s rent for the security deposit.
- Connecticut also stipulates you must provide your tenant with a written receipt for the security deposit within 30 days. You must also hold a security deposit separate from other funds.
- The same rules apply to pet deposits.
Authorization for Background Checks
Conducting background checks on applicants before entering a rental agreement protects you from renting to tenants with a poor credit history or past evictions.
A credit check provides information about a renter’s income, employment status, credit score, and more.
Since Federal law requires a property owner to have written permission to conduct a credit check, consider including a consent statement on your rental application or use a separate standalone background check authorization form.
Criminal Background Checks
A criminal history check can uncover any existing records associated with illegal activity in the state or the presence of an applicant’s name on the National Sex Offender Registry by searching records of sexual offenders in Connecticut.
How to Conduct an Eviction Records Search in Connecticut
An eviction record search will tell you if there have been any legal actions taken against a prospective tenant in the state of Connecticut in the past seven years involving unpaid rent or a refusal to vacate a property after being given proper written notice.
You can access these records by searching the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch website and following these steps:
- Select Case Look-up
- Click on Civil / Family / Housing / Small Claims
- Select “By Party Name”
- Enter the applicant’s first and last name
- Click Search
Other Resources for Connecticut Landlords
How to Write a Rental Application
Follow the steps below to write a rental application in Connecticut.
Step 1 – Fill in Property Address Information
Write the date of the rental application and the address of the rental property.
Step 2 – Collect Basic Rental Applicant Information
This section provides the applicant(s) basic identifying information about themselves.
Step 3 – Collect Applicant’s Residence History
In this section, the applicant(s) provides their residence history including addresses, dates of residency, and reasons for moving.
Step 4 – Gather Applicant’s Employment History
This section is for the applicant(s) to provide current and previous employment information and other sources of income.
Step 5 – Gather Applicant’s Financial History
This section is for the applicant(s) to provide bank account and credit card information.
Step 6 – Collect References
The applicant(s) provides personal references’ names and contact information in this section.
Step 7 – Additional Questions and Verification
This section contains additional questions to determine more information about the applicant such as smoking or pets.
Sample Connecticut Rental Application Form
Below is an example of a standard Connecticut rental application form.
You may download this free form or use our document builder to create a customized Connecticut rental application that covers all the details unique to your real estate needs.