Rental Application Process

How to Qualify for a Rental Home

FirstKey Homes, LLC Rental Criteria Terms and Conditions - Updated 3/19/2024

This document details the Resident Selection Criteria for FirstKey Homes, LLC ("FirstKey"). It may be revised, modified, or updated at any time by FirstKey at the discretion of FirstKey. Applicants applying to homes governed by homeowner’s associations ("HOAs") or municipalities may be subject to additional qualification criteria based upon HOA regulations or municipal ordinances. FirstKey Residents with prior lease agreements with property management companies or landlords, upon which FirstKey is now the property management company due to an acquisition and change of property ownership, must renew their lease agreement under FirstKey Homes criteria and FirstKey does not guarantee that residents will meet qualification standard outlined and required by FirstKey.

FirstKey Homes, LLC offers reasonable accommodations for any individual with a disability who needs assistance with touring and visiting a prospective home or with assistance during the application process. Please call 844.395.3959 or email [email protected] and a FirstKey Homes team member will be happy to help you. Listed features may not be accurate; confirm details with a leasing representative.


  • All adults, 18 years of age, or considered an adult under state law, are required to complete an application in its entirety;
  • All occupants applying for the property must reside in the property. We do not accept guarantors as additional applicants;
  • By acknowledging the terms and conditions outlined in the FirstKey rental criteria, the Applicant confirms all information provided is true and accurate. Any falsification, fabrication, or untruthful answers and supporting documentation shall result in an automatic denial;
  • Applicants are required, unless otherwise noted, to pay a $55.00 non-refundable application fee to authorize a background check and additional qualification processes; applicant will be responsible for any credit card/debit card processing fees. Properties may not be held off the market for greater than ten (10) days, unless a FirstKey representative approves an extension;
  • Applicants of pre-leased properties need to complete taking possession of their home, assuming it has been accepted after the tour when made ready, within 7 days of notification of the home being made ready, unless a FirstKey representative approves an extension.
  • Upon Applicant approval, Leases are required to be signed within 24 hours of generation. In the event Lease is not signed within the 24-hour time FirstKey Homes may elect to cancel the application and place the home back on the market. A non-refundable Administrative fee is required upon move in, price varies per market;
  • Non-US Citizen applicants will be subject to all qualifications outlined in the criteria and required to verify you are lawfully in the United States, proof of your right to be in the U.S. does not expire during your Lease term and providing a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) document such as a Form I-551, Form I-766, Form I-94;
  • Approved applications are valid for thirty (30) days, after that time period, all Applicants must provide written consent for additional screening, credit checks, income verification, and re-qualification for a property managed by FirstKey Homes, LLC.
  • FirstKey Homes employees and their immediate family members residing with them (spouses, parents, children, siblings and their respective spouses) or persons living in the same households of such employees, whether or not related, are not eligible to enter a lease with FirstKey Homes and their application will be denied if submitted. 

Colorado Applicants Only

Important Disclosures Regarding Portable Screening Reports

Your Right to Provide a Portable Tenant Screening Report

Your Right to Provide a Portable Tenant Screening Report Pursuant to Colorado law, as a prospective tenant, you have the right to provide to the landlord a portable tenant screening report, as defined in section 38-12-902(2.5), Colorado Revised Statutes; and If you (applicant) provide the landlord (FirstKey Homes) with a portable tenant screening report, the landlord (we) [are] prohibited from:

Charging you (the prospective tenant) a rental application fee; or charging you (the prospective tenant) a fee for the landlord (us) to access or use the portable tenant screening report.

Landlords Right to Be Exempt from Portable Tenant Screening Reports (PTSRs)

While Colorado law gives prospective tenants the right to provide landlords with Portable Tenant Screening Reports, the law also allows landlords to be exempt from the requirement to accept PTSRs if the landlord does not charge an application fee for Colorado applicants. 

FirstKey Homes, the landlord does not charge CO applicants an application fee and is exempt from 38-12-902(2.5), Colorado Revised Statutes.

Equal Housing Leasing

FirstKey is pledged to the letter and spirit of all applicable state and federal fair housing laws, including, without limitation, the Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended), for the achievement of equal housing opportunities for all rental applicants and Residents throughout each of the states in which we operate. We encourage, foster and support an affirmative advertising, marketing and rental program in which there are no barriers to obtaining or enjoying housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap (disability), familial status, national origin or any other class of persons recognized under any applicable federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations. In addition, it is FirstKey Homes policy to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities in accordance with applicable fair housing laws.

Resident Qualification Criteria

Any application that provides falsified or incorrect information may be subject to automatic disqualification. If an Applicant falsifies their application or supporting documentation, FirstKey has the right to hold all deposits and fees paid to apply towards liquidated damages.

Standard Occupancy Guideline

The maximum occupancy for FirstKey properties is two persons per bedroom, plus one additional occupant per home. Occupancy standards may vary by region based on local city, county, and state laws.


  • All persons 18 years of age occupying the property are required to complete an application.
  • All persons occupying the property must be identified in the application; this includes all minors under the age of 18.


  • All applicant’s credit history enters a scoring model to determine a SafeRent Score for each application. The SafeRent Score is determined from an analysis of information found in each applicant’s consumer credit report, application, and previous rental histories (if applicable). Consumer reports may include but are not limited to payment history, bankruptcies, number and type of accounts, collection activity, outstanding debt and credit inquiries. In addition, the scoring process includes income-to-rent ratio, eviction records, and subprime credit records.
  • Current Open Bankruptcies (Chapter 7 or 13) will result in an automatic denial.
  • Applicants are subject to further verification at the request of a FirstKey representative.
  • For applications in the state of Illinois: Applicant(s) does hereby consent upon completion and meeting the criteria of a credit and rental history screening, a criminal background report will be processed by FirstKey Homes, LLC to complete screening of the consumer information report.

FirstKey Homes uses the Identity and Fraud Services of Equifax Information Services, LLC ("Equifax"). Applicant acknowledges that nonpublic consumer information, provided on the Rental Application and which is defined under the Gramm Leach Bliley Act ("GLBA") (15 U.S.C. §6802(e)) or its implementing regulations ("NPI"), may be shared with Equifax and SafeRent Solutions, LLC, and consents to the use of this NPI for the purposes of identity verification and fraud prevention."

Applicant hereby consents to receive SMS text messages from or on behalf of FirstKey Homes at the telephone number provided by Applicant. Applicant understands that consent is not a condition of receiving service and that Applicant may revoke consent to receive SMS text messages at any time. Applicant further understands and agrees that any text messages received may be sent by an auto dialer. SMS text message fees may apply

Security Deposit

  • Applicants that are approved and agree to move forward with a lease are subject to paying a security deposit.
  • Security deposits may vary depending on the market, and SafeRent Score.
  • If application is denied due to falsified information and/or documents provided and a security deposit has been paid, the security deposit will be forfeited. 


  • Household income requirements are based upon the market, SafeRent Score, and other qualification factors within the application process and should be a minimum of 3 times the monthly rent, 2 times the monthly rent in the state of Colorado. 
  • Employment: Applicants are required to provide proof of income for the past four (4) consecutive weeks unless otherwise advised by a representative of FirstKey. The most recent proof of income must be dated within the last 15 days of the date of application. (Applicants paid on a monthly basis will be asked to supply two (2) months’ worth of income for consistency of pay evaluation). FirstKey Homes may request additional proof of income if documents provided are insufficient. Any falsified documents will result in a denial.
  • Additional Income Sources: Social Security Benefits, Child Support, Alimony, Disability, Retirement, Pensions, VA Benefits and Bank Statements (complete) are accepted. Items containing redacted or otherwise altered information are subject to additional verification
  • All income should be verified and evidenced by the source of income. If income is not verifiable. FirstKey may request additional information for verification of income at any time.
  • Job Transfer/New Role: Applicants with an offer of employment or transfer of role from their existing employer are required to provide an Offer Letter or Transfer Letter on employer letterhead confirming terms of compensation and start date. The letter should be signed and dated by the offeror.
  • Proof of income being made in the state you are wishing to rent a home is required. Examples include but are not limited to the state taxes shown on your pay statements, an offer letter or transfer letter confirming you are beginning a new role in that state, or proof that you are a remote employee.
  • Applicants that provide any false, counterfeit, or other fake documentation are subject to denial, even if discovered after approval.

Rental History

  • Prior Evictions, filed or enforced, may result in an automatic denial of the application.
  • Any outstanding debt or judgment owed to any prior landlord may result in a denial. 

Criminal History

  • Each Applicant is subject to a criminal background check.
  • Criminal background screening is broken into the following categories 1) Crimes Against Persons, 2) Property, and 3) Society. Criminal histories presented through applicant screening reports pertaining to weapons, drugs, violence, or any other act that poses a threat to household, neighborhood, vendors, FirstKey employees, or the physical property itself, may result in a denial. Criminal history will be assessed on the risk to persons or property by an applicant including but not limited to the type of crime; the severity of the crime; circumstance of the crime; and the length of time since the crime occurred.
  • Denied Applicants may dispute any wrongful record claims by contacting SafeRent Solutions and following process as outlined in their action letter and SafeRent Solutions.
  • Criminal background screening is also governed by federal, state or local laws which regulate FirstKey’s screening processes.

OFAC-Office of Foreign Assets Control

An Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) search is completed for each Applicant. If Applicant appears on the OFAC list, the application will be denied.


  • Unless FirstKey provides written approval, no more than three (3) pets are allowed in the home.
  • Applicants are required to pay a non-refundable pet fee of $300, per each pet; and where applicable, monthly pet rent of $30 per pet in the home.
  • Unless deemed restricted by local city or county ordinance, pets are allowed.
  • Restricted breeds include Akita, American Bulldog, American Pit Bull Terrier, Belgian Malinois, Bull Mastiff, Chow, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepard, Bergamasco Shepard, Caucasian Shepard, Alaskan Malamute, Great Dane, Husky, Pit Bull, Presa Canario, Rottweiler, Staffordshire Terrier, Wolf, or any mix of the listed breeds.
  • Dangerous or poisonous animals are not permitted as a pet.
  • Fish tanks are limited to 20 gallons. No pet fee or pet rent is required for fish.
  • Assistive Animals for persons with disabilities are not considered to be pets and are not subject to the pet restrictions bestowed in this section.


  • No more than four (4) vehicles are permitted on the Premises.
  • Vehicles must be operational and have current and valid registration based upon state law.
  • Additional HOA restrictions may apply to number of vehicles, commercial vehicles and allowed parking locations. If your home is contained in an HOA review the HOA’s restrictive covenants for more information regarding vehicle guideline.

Homes with a Pool

  • FirstKey will schedule maintenance for your pool to ensure the filtration system and chemical balance is at proper levels. This maintenance cost is not part of the monthly rental amount and will be charged to you as a separate line item on your account. The frequency of maintenance will depend on your location and time of year. You are responsible for maintaining the pool between services by skimming the surface and floor, emptying skimmer baskets, and removing flotation devices or toys.
  • FirstKey also provides pool safety barriers at the home that should not be removed or tampered with. By choosing a home with a pool, you understand the inherent risks associated with a pool. Please practice pool safety.
  • Please contact your Property Manager with any pool maintenance questions or needs. 

Homeowner’s Association (HOA) – Rules and Regulations

  • FirstKey pays annual HOA assessments but if you choose a home located in an HOA, you are responsible for ensuring compliance with all HOA rules and regulations. If you violate an HOA rule, then you will be asked to resolve it. If you do not resolve timely, or to a standard that is sufficient to the HOA, FirstKey will cure the violation and you will be billed for all costs and fines associated. Additionally, if an HOA sends a violation that is resident responsibility, a $45 violation noncompliance processing fee will be charged to your account ledger.
  • Please contact your Property Manager with any HOA needs and/or to request a copy of your HOA rules and regulations to ensure you maintain compliance. 

Renters Insurance

  • Resident agrees insurance shall be issued by a licensed insurance company of their choice with a Financial Strength Rating of A++, A+, A, A-, B++ or B+ as rated by Moody’s, Fitch Ratings, A.M. Best, Standard and Poor’s, or Kroll Bond Rating Agency, in a liability insurance amount of no less than One-Hundred Thousand Dollars and Zero Cents (“$100,000”), and Resident shall name Landlord, successors or assigns, as a loss payee, interested party, and additional insureds on said policy, and Resident shall ensure the policy chosen does not contain exclusions for dogs or injuries caused by dogs (regardless if Resident harbors a dog), human trafficking, harmful, sexual, or offensive bodily contact.  (“Rental Insurance”).
  • Resident agrees to provide evidence of their Rental Insurance to Landlord on or prior to Lease Effective Date.  If Resident fails to comply with Rental Insurance requirements, Resident shall incur a monthly noncompliance fee of identified in their lease agreement (“Noncompliance Fee”) for Landlord cost of purchasing a Liability Insurance Policy (premium plus administrative charges).  The Liability Insurance Policy purchased by the Landlord does not cover Resident’s personal property, it is only for the benefit of the Landlord, the Resident must purchase their own Rental Insurance Policy to insure their personal property.
  • Waterbeds will only be allowed with proof of fully paid insurance for the full term of the lease.
  • If you fail to purchase Rental Insurance, you will be charged a monthly $30.00 non-compliance fee and this fee is NOT a substitute for Renters Insurance coverage. 

Denied Applications

  • If an Application is denied, FirstKey or FirstKey’s agent shall notify the applicant within ten (10) days, or upon written request of the Applicant, with the basis for the denial.
  • If the application is denied, applicants(s) consent to disclosing the basis and the personal information to all co-applicants, which may include but is not limited to credit reports, income verification, criminal history, or other negative reasons which may contain personal information.
  • If an applicant submits fraudulent information for application screening, the applicant will forfeit security deposit, fees, and any move-in funds. 

Application Does Not Create a Lease

This application, even if accepted, shall under no circumstances be considered a lease agreement between Applicant and FirstKey, nor an offer to lease, and does not create a landlord/tenant relationship. No lease shall exist between an Applicant and FirstKey unless and until the parties enter a fully executed Lease Agreement conditioned on the Applicant paying all required fees, security deposits, and rent.

Application Does Not Create a Lease

  • Delay of Possession By Landlord.

    If Landlord is unable to deliver Possession of the Property within ten (10) days after the Start Date, Resident may terminate this Lease by giving written notice to Landlord before the Property is made available for occupancy by Resident, and Landlord will refund the Security Deposit and any Rent paid. Landlord may cancel this lease agreement at any time prior to Resident taking Possession ("Cancellation"). Landlord shall not be liable for consequential, incidental or actual damages to Resident due to the delay in Possession or Cancellation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Resident shall not have the right to terminate this Lease because of delays not impacting the habitability of the Property, including but not limited to, cleaning or make-ready work, and cosmetic defects.

  • Resident’s Refusal to take Possession.

    If Resident refuses to take Possession of the Property after being made available by Landlord, Landlord’s obligations under the Lease cease and Landlord shall retain Resident’s security deposit, application fee, pre-paid rent, lost rent damages, or any other fee contained herein, as well as, all other monies collected by Landlord. Landlord’s acceptance of any monies does not waive Landlord’s right to exercise other remedies available per the Lease or state and local law.