When leasing a home it is also good to beware of a few things, because they can differ slightly from an apartment.
- Move-in Costs – When leasing a home you will also have an application fee, (usually, this fee covers pulling your credit, doing a background check, and any other authorized searches the landlord requests). This application fee can range from $35-$75 per person 18 years of age or older and is usually non-refundable. In most cases, every person 18 years of age or older that will be living in the home will have to fill out a separate application. If accepted, you will then be required to pay the first month’s rent and security deposit before you move in. The deposit for a home is typically equal to ONE month’s rent. If the landlord feels you may be a higher risk tenant, they may require a double deposit which would then be equal to TWO month’s rent.
Example: Your credit score is 550 and the landlord will accept you if you can pay a double deposit. The rent for the property is $1,200 a month. To move in, you would have to pay first month’s rent ($1,200) + double security deposit ($1,200 + $1,200) = $3,600.
- Length of Lease – Most landlords will only consider leases that are at least one year or longer. Unlike apartments, it is very rare to find a house where the landlord will consider a month-to-month or 6-month lease unless it is for corporate housing.
- Repairs – When a repair needs to be made in a home, how it is taken care of will vary based on what was put in the lease. Some homes are managed by Property Management Companies in which you would have to put in a request for repairs through them. If the house is not managed by a Property Management Company then you will have to speak to the landlord directly or any other person the landlord has authorized to take care of the repair. Each lease can vary on how the repairs will be made, the amount of the cost that the tenant may be responsible for, and whether or not certain appliances will be repaired.
- Pets – Just like apartments, if a landlord accepts pets, there will certainly be an additional pet deposit required. Landlords may not allow certain breeds and limit the number of pets and/or size of the pets.
The Lease Process
So now that you have decided you are ready to begin the leasing process for a home, what do you do next? Begin by following the steps below to begin the process.
Steps for Leasing
1. FILL OUT THE APPLICATION
- We will send you the Lease Application electronically so you can fill it out online. IT MUST BE FILLED OUT COMPLETELY. Every person 18 years or older who will be living at the property will need to fill out a separate application, so please provide their full name and email address.
2. SEND YOUR DOCUMENTS AND PAY THE APPLICATION FEE
- The primary and secondary applicants will need to send a copy of the following with their application:
-Clear Copy of Drivers License (In Color)
-Copy of Social Security Card (Front & Back)
-Last 2 months of Pay Stubs (or) Last 2 years of Tax Returns if Self-Employed
- Once you send all of your documents, we will then send you a link for the credit and background check. Each person over 18 will have to pay a $40 non-refundable application fee to run a credit, background check, and nationwide eviction report. This fee also includes putting your file together and get it ready to submit to any properties that you may qualify for. (We put your complete file together before we look at any homes so that when we do find the perfect home we can submit everything right away and not risk losing the home because of the time it takes to get any documents needed for approval).
3. FIND HOMES TO VIEW
- If your credit is 650 or above, we will put together a list of homes that meet your criteria to view and schedule a time to view the homes if they are still available.
- If your credit is 649 or below, we will put together a list of homes that meet your criteria, and then we will send your file to the Agent/Landlord directly to see if they will consider working with us. Not every landlord will work with tenants with credit challenges, so to make the process more efficient, we will not look at any homes until we have confirmation that the landlord will work with us. This is to ensure you are not wasting any time looking at properties you can not get approved for.
4. ONCE YOU ARE APPROVED
Once you have been approved by the Landlord, you will sign the lease. You will then need to pay the following before you can get the keys:
- Security Deposit – this is usually equal to ONE month’s rent, but it is whatever was agreed upon in the lease. If a Pet Deposit is applicable, then this will need to be included as well.
- First Month’s Rent – Whatever amount is agreed upon in the lease.