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Ask Thomas Swartz Your Own Question
Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3151
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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My landlord is asking me to fill out a renters application

Customer Question

My landlord is asking me to fill out a renters application after living here for 7 1/2 years..I was never given a lease when I moved in either.. of course after 71/2 years my fininancial situation has changed, and my rent has been late on numerous months lately.. she accepts my payments (cash) all the time, and now i am very concerned about her requesting an application .. do I have to comply?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 9 months ago.

Hello Arelene,

A California landlord is allowed to ask prospective tenants or existing tenants to complete a renter's application. Landlords can use this application to determine what kind of job you have, your monthly income, and other information that shows your ability to pay the rent. The landlord can also ask for authorization to obtain a credit report. The landlord is no doubt asking you to complete the application because you have been late with rent payments, and so the landlord is seeking to determine if you are still financially able to pay the rent.

If you don't complete the application, the landlord does have the right to refuse to rent the apartment to you, or in your case renew your lease. The landlord does have to continue to honor the terms of your current lease. Now you indicated that you never signed a written lease, which would mean that you are renting on a month to month basis. So, the landlord would have to give you 30 days notice to terminate your lease. But in terms of the application, the landlord would have the right to refuse to continue to rent to you if you do not complete it.

You may have a valid complaint regarding repairs. But that is really a separate issue from the application itself.


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I understand. Thank you
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 9 months ago.

Good luck.


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