Renters FAQ

What is the pet policy?

Most of our owners accept pets with an additional refundable deposit (on average they are $300). Please check with the city to see if your breed is accepted before signing a lease.

How long will it take to process my application?

It can take as little as one day to several more. We verify employment, rental history, and credit. If you are starting a new position, it will help speed your application along if you furnish us a copy of your employment offer letter. PLEASE make sure the application is complete. Include the following:
• Your COMPLETE address with city, state and zip code
• daytime telephone number for your landlord
• copies of payroll check stubs or letter of commitment for a new job.

Whether the application is approved or not, the application fees are non-refundable. We do not approve applications on a first come, first serve basis. Owners make the final approval decision. Approved applications are valid for 30 days. The entire first month’s rent is due days before your move in date.

Do you paint walls and clean carpet in every property?

We want our houses to be clean and to generally look freshly painted. However, our properties are not painted between every renter. If you view a property where you would like to have specific things done, please be sure to include those in your lease offer. We do require the owner to have the home and carpets professionally cleaned prior to move in.

Who pays the utilities?

In most properties, the renter pays the utilities. About 30% of the time the trash pickup is included in the rent.

How much is the security deposit?

The minimum security deposit is the equivalent of one month’s rent. Deposits for pets can be up to one-half of one month’s rent. All are refundable.

What will need to be paid prior to move in?

One month of rent, the security deposit, deposit for pet and any short-term lease fees will all have to be paid in full prior to you receiving keys for the property. We will also need confirmation of utilities and renters insurance prior to move in.

Is rent negotiable?

If you have good rental history and good credit, a lot of owners will be flexible, depending on lease terms. We will work with you to obtain the best possible rental price for you.

What happens if I want to break my lease?

Once all parties sign the lease you are legally bound to the terms. If you want to leave the lease early, most owners will allow us and/or you to re-market the home. Once the owner approves another qualified renter you will be released from the rental payments. You will be responsible for any marketing charges the owner has incurred.

Why have rental insurance?

Rental insurance is one of the last things most renters think about when moving. However, it is very important. Most renters do not realize if there is a problem in their home, they are not covered by the landlord’s insurance. Fire, theft, roof and plumbing leaks and many other occurrences can damage your personal property. To protect yourself and your valuables, renters are encouraged to obtain renter’s insurance. Most policies are very affordable and cover the following losses:
• Windstorm or hail
• Fire or lightening
• Explosion
• Vehicles
• Smoke
• Vandalism or malicious mischief
• Theft
• Falling objects
• Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
• Water-related damage from home utilities
• Electrical surge damage

Buying Renter’s Insurance

To begin, decide how much coverage you need. This varies and will depend on your location. Typically, you can purchase a policy that covers at least $15,000 in personal belongings and several hundred thousand dollars in liability for only a couple hundred dollars a year. Speak with your insurance company to determine the best amount for you.

After you move in, take inventory of all the items in your home. Insurers state that most people underestimate the value of their possessions and therefore don’t have enough personal property coverage. Experts recommend making an inventory of each item including its value and serial number. You should also photograph or videotape each room and be sure all the items of value are clearly visible. If you make any major purchases, keep the receipts. Be sure to store all the documentation in a fireproof box, on a digital file with online access or in a bank safety deposit box so that your proof is not destroyed in the event of a fire or natural disaster. If you own a dog, be careful—some breeds are often not covered by insurers.

Renter’s Insurance Policy Types

The next major consideration is the type of policy you are being offered: ACV (actual cash value) or replacement cost. ACV coverage will only pay you for what your belongings were worth at the time they were stolen or damaged. If you purchased a new television for $1,500 when you moved in and it was stolen a year later, you would only receive what the television was worth at the time it was stolen (not the purchase price.) You will pay higher premiums with replacement cost coverage; however, if something happens, you will be paid the amount that it will actually cost to replace them.

Personal Property Riders for Renter’s Insurance

You’ll also need to let your insurer know of any particularly valuable items you own, like a piece of jewelry or expensive electronic equipment. If you purchase a separate rider for these items, they will be covered individually. Most policies do include liability coverage that will cover the costs for any injury to yourself or visitors to your home. Policies can also include special provisions (i.e. waterbed liability that cover any water damage resulting from a broken bed.) If you have something like this in your home, double check your policy to make sure it is detailed within.

Possible Renter’s Insurance Discounts

If you or your homeowner installed smoke detectors, fire extinguishers or burglar alarms, you may be eligible for a discount. If so make sure to mention these when you are purchasing a policy.

Remember, that like other types of insurance, your premium depends on factors like where you live, your company, your deductible and any additional coverage you purchase. If you want to pay less for your policy, consider choosing a higher deductible. This is the amount you have to pay if you do have to use your policy. For example, if you have a kitchen fire, you may have to pay a $1,000 deductible before your insurance company will pay for additional damages.

Living Expenses Rider for Renter’s Insurance

Some renter’s insurance policies will cover additional living expenses. This means that your insurer will cover your living expenses in another location if your home becomes unlivable. The typical limit is 30 to 50 percent of the total value of the policy. You will be limited to what your company considers a reasonable length of time for rebuilding or relocating, often twelve months.

Renters insurance is one of the most overlooked types of policies. However, those who have had to use it know its value. Buying a policy not only insures your belongings, but it also gives you peace of mind.