Application Forms

When someone wants to rent a property, the landlord might ask them to fill in a Pre-Tenancy Application Form. This gives the landlord information about the prospective tenant to help them decide who they want to rent their property to. It normally includes questions about previous tenancies, names and contact details for referees and permission to carry out a credit check.

Why do landlords want the information?

  • The landlord is trying to choose the best tenants they can to look after their rental property.
  • Many landlords have had experiences where tenants have not met their responsibilities, have owed them money or have damaged the property.
  • They want to find out about the tenants reputation in past tenancies and their ability to pay the rent.

What can I do to get a landlord to choose me as their tenant?

  • Provide referees or references that show your good record as a tenant, and do not lie in the information you provide.
  • Remember, they want you to pay the rent and look after the property.
  • If they have concerns about you or you have had some tenancy problems in the past, tell them how you will behave differently.

Is there anything I should worry about?

  • The landlord might be profiling you, in other words they might have made a judgement about who a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ tenant might be and are trying to see which one you are.
  • Sometimes the questions in the application form are asking for information that you do not have to give.
  • The form may also be asking the tenants permission for the landlord to share information about the tenant on a tenant database.

Before signing

  • Ask yourself – does the landlord need to know some of this information?
  • Is it possible to cross out parts of the application form before you sign?
  • For example – agree to the credit check but not to sharing information on a tenant database.

Application forms

  1. Lets the landlord know who wants to rent their property
  2. Not the same as a tenancy agreement
  3. May include questions about past tenancies, emergency contacts, referees and much more.
  4. Not regulated by the Residential Tenancies Act (1986) in the same way that tenancy agreements are.
  5. Often the form used to get consent from the tenant to do a credit check. 
  6. Often it asks the tenant to agree to share information about them with 'others' or on a tenant database.
  7. Landlords must respect the Privacy Act 1993.
  8. Only necessary information can be collected.
  9. Sometimes asks for information that the tenant is not required to reveal.
  10. The form might say that the tenant does not have to fully complete the form but if they do not they might not be considered for the property.
  11. Provides an indication to the landlord of the suitability of a prospective tenant.
  12. Can serve as a way to profile tenants based on prejudices.
  13. Any information collected and held by the landlord can be viewed
  14. Tenants often forget about this form, do not have a copy of it, and do not understand the implications of letting the landlord share their information.

Contact Details

Tenants Protection Association (ChCh) Inc
Te Tōpū Tiaki-ā-Kainoho
Room 3, 301 Tuam Street, Christchurch 8011
Ph.(03) 379-2297

info [at] tpa [dot] org [dot] nz (subject: Enquiry%20from%20Website)