1form - online rental applications

1form seems to be an online service that collects and stores all the information you need to make a rental application, so you can resend it as many times as needed, when you are applying for different properties.

Has anyone used 1form when applying to rent a property? If yes, how did you find the service? Any privacy concerns?


Oh, this is a great question! It’s been a long time since I’ve been going rental applications, but I remember this being a real challenge to fill them all in on time!

I wonder if people feel more comfortable with giving their details to third parties with the rise of Facebook - which has so much of our data as it is!

I saw that @gwendolen.johnson @msanderson08 and @london were talking about rentals recently - have you had experience with the 1form app?

The amount of personal information you need to provide when submitting a rental application is frightening.

If it’s through 1form or direct to a rental agent; Passport, licence details, income, current and previous employment, current and previous addresses going back years…… the list is huge. You need less information to open a bank account! However, you’ve little choice when you’re competing with others to secure a rental property.

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I have used 1form, it actually made it a lot easier because you didn’t have to complete multiple different rental applications. I can’t see it being more or less secure than giving the same information on a paper form to a real-estate agent, which is no doubt entered into their own system and stored somewhere?!?!. Or worse still, having the details entered into a system and the application kept on paper and stored insecurely in an office.


I’ve used 1Form recently. Agreed with @southerton’s comments, it’s much easier when you apply for multiple properties - the hassle is worth the privacy concerns for me, and yes, I don’t have much trust in real estate agent either and we have no choice.

The downside of using 1Form was some real estate agent said they preferred their own system, or that they don’t get notifications from 1Form sometimes, it’s glitchy etc.

But from renter’s perspective at least it tells you when the application is submitted and if the agent has seen it, much more than what a real estate agent ever does for you.

I’m looking for a rental property right now and am also using the experience as research. Was faced with the prospect of using 1form and decided to ask the community for input first.

I feel like renters are stuck between a rock and a hard place really - because yes, giving out SO MUCH personal information on paper for a real estate agent to do whatever they are going to do with it is frightening. But so is using 1form, which is owned by REA Group (majority owned by NewsCorp). I feel like firstly, we shouldn’t have to give agencies/landlord THAT much information and secondly, if we did, commercial entities shouldn’t benefit from it. Any thoughts on this?

Yes, it’ll be good to have a short & clear explanation of what will and won’t happen with our personal information when we give them away, and valid reason for collecting them.

But like with digital privacy, I feel like we have almost no choice but to click on ‘Agree’ on any Terms and conditions when signing up or upgrading. Gregg Bernstein - the former UX researcher at MailChimp did his graduate thesis on fixing iTunes’ terms of services agreement.

Maybe the first step is something like this - a T&C translator or simplified version of what we’re agreeing to when we give our information away :slight_smile:

And yes, if there’s a way of not having to give data away for agencies, landlord or 1Form, and still get a rental place, I’m all for it.

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I have often thought that the real estate agency should be made to return the unsuccessful applications to the applicant. They may keep the successful application on file, but what do they do with the unsuccessful ones?
Of course this may still be the case if they print off the online applications.

I totally agree. Giving out this much information to anyone in this day and age is a bit frightening to be honest. Giving the information to company owned by newscorp is not going to make anyone feel better no matter how much easier it makes your life. There really needs to be a limit on the amount of information that real estates can request for rentals and whether they can keep old information etc. We have all had run ins with dodgy real estates and compex managers. It concerns me what my personal information could be used for.

I used the 1form application format last year and found it a huge time saver when sending out multiple applications.

Never considered privacy issues, as the information would be collected regardless of method used. Having said that, I agree the information request is excessive especially up front sometimes before you have even seen the property - I was submitting applications in advance for those places I was really keen on, pending inspection.

I understand their need for some of the information. Perhaps the first stage could be the imperative information such as rental history, employer and income bandwidth, plus general rental info such as kids / pets / special needs etc. If you are accepted beyond that as a prospective renter, then go further into the rest of the information. Im sure a lot is a means of providing the agent and owner with an overall ‘snapshot’ of the type of person you are.

As for keeping details, I stayed subscribed to emails as I didnt know if I would be staying for an extended time where i moved or not. So I get emails about matching properties each week. One way they would legitimately use the information. Marketing another, targetting various groups.