Kentucky’s landlord-tenant laws are only sometimes beneficial to property owners. Because the law isn’t always on your side, you must look out for yourself.
Create a Rental Application that allows you to properly vet any applicant before offering a lease agreement.
A sufficient rental application in Kentucky follows applicable federal and state laws and ensures you can protect your interests.
Kentucky Rental Application Fees
You must also understand what fees you can and cannot charge. Kentucky is lenient regarding fees you can assess tenants or prospective tenants.
No state law prevents landlords from charging rental application fees in Kentucky.
There are also no restrictions on the amount you can charge, but it should be reasonable and approximate to the cost of processing the rental application. Landlords typically require an application fee for every adult applicant.
You should alert potential renters to other costs you will charge if you approve their application. The two most common charges are pet and security deposits.
There are no limits on what a landlord can charge a tenant and no restrictions on requiring security deposits (Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) § 383.580). However, there are strict rules on how you handle deposits.
Kentucky law mandates you place the security deposit into a bank or lending institution used only for such money. You must also provide the renter with the name and location of the financial institution and the account number.
Before collecting any money, you must provide the tenant with a detailed list of any damages pre-existing in the rental unit. The potential renter must have the opportunity to inspect the property, and both parties must sign the damage list to acknowledge its accuracy.
Authorization for Kentucky Rental Application Background Check
Properly vetting potential renters requires looking into their past.
You must obtain their permission to run a background check either through a consent statement on our rental application or a separate background check authorization form.
Your rental application in Kentucky should ask for the following information from the applicant:
- Name and previous names
- Social security number
- Address and previous addresses
- Work history with contact information
- Proof of income
- Personal references
You may use this information to look at credit, rental and employment history, and criminal records. Be sure to indicate you are using the data to conduct a background check and state precisely what inquiries you will make.
The applicant must permit you to perform the searches by signing the document.
How To Conduct an Eviction Record Search in Kentucky
Regardless of whether you wish to conduct a thorough background check, you should at least search for eviction records. Kentucky has an open records law that allows access to any public records, including evictions (KRS § 61.872).
You do not need permission to look at these documents.
You can use the Kentucky Court of Justice website to conduct a check. You can search using the last name and date of birth or the first and last name along with the driver’s license number or social security number.
The site allows for a statewide search, which will show all court cases for the individual in Kentucky.
Other Resources for Landlords in Kentucky
As you review the application, you may find the state’s fair housing law helpful.
Avoid discrimination in assessing potential tenants that would open you up to lawsuits.
You cannot deny housing based on the following:
- Familial status
- National origin
Another resource is the Kentucky sex offender registry. Check out each adult applicant to ensure they are off the list. Registration can prevent individuals from living in certain areas, which could disqualify them as a renter.
Once you review the application and run all background checks, it is time to decide. If you are ready to move forward, you’ll want to send a rental application approval letter.
How to Write a Rental Application
Follow the steps below to write a rental application in Kentucky.
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 Kentucky Rental Application Form
Below is an example of a standard Kentucky rental application form.
You may download this free form or use our document builder to create a customized Kentucky rental application that covers all the details unique to your real estate needs.