Can You Require Applicants to Pay an Application-Screening Fee?

Yes. When an applicant submits a rental application, you may decide to charge them a fee to cover the cost of obtaining credit reports or background checks. In most states, the amount that you can charge is between $30-$50. Legally, any fee you charge cannot exceed the actual costs.

Alternatively, you could choose to take advantage of a free online application and thorough screening report.

If you do charge a fee, you are required to provide the applicant with an itemized receipt detailing the expenses. Similarly, if you obtain a credit report from an applicant, you must provide them with a copy if they request one.

Tellus TIP:

Keep a copy of the itemized receipt for your records.