How do I Lease a Home?
General Leasing Process
The application approval process takes about 2-4 days depending on how quickly the property manager can get past rental history and verify income. Application fees will vary by house/property manager, but will range from $35-$60 per person over 18 who will be living in the home. Some property managers will run an application with just application fees, others will require the security deposit in addition to application fees in order to process. Application fees are non-refundable, the security deposit would be refunded if you were not approved (the security deposit is typically one months rent). If they do not require the security deposit up front it will be due within 24-48 hrs of approval. Both the application fees and security deposits will need to be in the form of certified funds. During the approval process they will be checking for several things;
* Background check which will include criminal history and evictions on a state or national level. What is acceptable will vary depending on the company. If you have criminal convictions of any kind we recommend notifying us prior to viewing homes so we can check to see if they will consider your situation first.
* Rental history- Most will be looking for 2-3 years of verifiable mortgage or rental history that is not from a family or friend.
* Income verification- You must have a minum of 3x the monthly rent in gross verifiable income in order to qualify. Some companies may require 4 times the monthly rent. You will be asked to submit recent paycheck stubs along with your application. While most companies will allow combined income for un-married couples or roomates there are a couple of the major property management companies that will only allow combined income for married couples. If you are not married for those companies 1 person would need to make 3x the monthly rent on their own.
* Credit- Your credit will be run and this is probably the part that varies the greatest on what is deemed acceptable from one company to the next. Many use a credit cut off score of about 550. In addition to your score they will look at what has caused your score, such as a foreclosure, late mortgage payments, short sale or bancruptcies along with current collections, length of established new credit or past due medical bills. It is very hard for any company to give you an answer on if they will accept your credit prior to having actually run your credit report and seeing what is on there.
* Pets- Some homes allow pets and others do not. Pet deposit will range from $300 - $600, some may charge an additional pet deposit for multiple pets. Some homes allow dogs but not cats and others will allow pets only up to a certain weight limit, it is really on a house by house basis. Most homes allowing pets will still have breed restrictions. Property managers often do not want the liability of power breeds such as Rottweiler’s, pit bulls etc. though there are always some who don’t mind. this is another one of those items we can check on for you prior to viewing any homes.
* Move in Date- Most property managers will hold a home for up to 3 weeks, sometimes 4, but not much longer unless it is currently being occupied. We recommend you actively start looking about a month before you will need to move in.
* Co-signers- cosigners or gaurantors are not allowed for every property. If you will need a co-signer please contact us so we may provide you with a llist of homes that allow co-signers.
Requesting a showing
When you request a showing please ask to speak to Ashley, she is our leasing specialist. We will often start by asking you several questions regarding qualifications, please don't think we are being nosy...this is to make sure up front you are aware of the qualifying guidelines, but also to make sure you will not be viewing homes that will not allow for certain situations ie; you have a large dog and need to find a home that will accept large dogs, you are in a room mate situation and only can see homes that allow combined incomes, you have a previous foreclose, bankruptcy etc. We do our best to make sure you are viewing homes that are available and will actually work with your situation.