Teaching Outline

Provide the Overall Handout before beginning the module.

Suggested Introduction

During this module you will learn what information landlords are likely to request, the importance of providing information accurately and completely, and how to deal with potential problems a landlord might uncover while screening an application. Landlords report that it is rare for an applicant to provide a complete and accurate application, which may be the basis for “rejecting an applicant” or “turning down an applicant.”

This module also covers fair housing regulations, which are intended to control and protect against discriminatory screening practices.

In preparing to present this lesson, you should check whether there are local fair housing laws that expand the scope of fair housing protections. If local laws include additional protected classes or types of discrimination, they should be shared.

You should also determine if there are local organizations that assist persons who believe that their fair housing rights have been violated. Include these groups in your local resource directory. Check with local groups who may be willing to provide speakers or furnish background material that will help you prepare to teach about fair housing. The Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Office of the Wisconsin State Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is a good place to check.


Activity 1: Why Landlords Screen Applicants

Activity 2: How Landlords Screen Applicants

Activity 3: Completing a Rental Application

Activity 4: Application Problems

Activity 5: Reading a Credit Report

Activity 6: Obtaining a Credit Report

Activity 7: Improving Your Credit

Activity 8: Fair Housing Rights

Learning Assessment

Have participants learned the key concepts of this Rent Smart module? The following questions or activities are recommended to assess participant understanding of the information covered in this module.

  • Ask participants to list 4 things they would bring with them when filling out rental applications.
  • Ask participants to list some ways a credit report can help a landlord when reviewing a new tenant.
  • Ask for a show of hands to the following questions:
    • Do you have a better understanding of the information on a credit report?
    • Do you know how to obtain a copy of your credit report?
  • Ask participants to state one thing they plan to do to improve how a landlord would view their credit reports.