'Rent Reform Rally' photo (c) 2011, The  Nabe - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Drafting the right application form is key if you want to land more tenants, screen them in an instant and make the whole process super easy for both you and the tenant. Here are 3 tips and pointers for getting it right:

1. Simplify, simplify, simplify

Get the application down to its barest bones. There is nothing that turns off tenants more than filling in lengthy application forms with, what to you and them, may amount to pointless information. Think to always streamline and convey what you request in an easy format. The simpler the rental form, the more likely people will apply for the rental and that is always good for business. The application form should always include the potential tenant’s full name, contact information, place of employment and references from previous landlords.

2. Help is there if you need it

The process of drawing up an application form might be intimidating when you’re a new landlord, which is why it’s important to have someone with more experience give it an once-over before you start using it. Get a local landlord or business-savvy friend to review it and advise you on how you can make it better. But if you don’t have such contacts and you’re looking for a quick review, feel free to ask for help from the people over at Reddit. This website has a helpful section for newbie landlords and the folks you’ll find there are always keen to help you out with any questions about how you should draft your first rental application. Landlord forums are another option when Reddit doesn’t seem to quite cut it and you need in-depth answers to your rental application questions.

3. Online rental applications make it quick & easy

You can always dump the traditional printed rental application route and opt to have your applicants fill out their forms online for an efficient rental process. There are quite a few quality sites out there that offer online rental application services, with some even providing quick online credit checks for landlords. At most of these sites, you can design your own rental applications (though templates are generally available) with some sites having the credit check service take up only a day to send you the report. Hands down, online applications are the easiest, most convenient way to speed up the rental process. We recommend you check out RocketLease, RentApp, Leasely, AppFolio and RentersFriend as online rental application providers.