Tenants Beware: There is so much to know when renting a home. Here are a few things to help make it all smoother. Do your research and COME PREPARED!
- Pre-qualify yourself by income- A good rule of thumb for renters is your gross income should equal or exceed 3 times the rent. This leaves two thirds (2/3) of your income for all those other things like utilities, car payments, credit card, food, clothing, entertainment and hopefully, some savings for the future. Any less money, and you don’t have much left for anything else. An exception to this is if you have other government income (food stamps) or a housing voucher like section 8 in which case you have to alter the formula slightly. In general however your household would need to make $1200 monthly income to afford $400 in rent, $1500 to afford $500, $1800 to afford $600, $2100 to afford $700, $2400 to afford $800, $2700 to afford $900, $3000 to afford $1000, $3600 to afford $1200, $4500 to afford $1500 and $7500 to afford $2500.
- Check your credit- You are entitled to one free credit report per year, per credit reporting agency, or if you have been denied credit. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com on line, phone 1-877-322-8228 or by mail: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. There is a small fee to get your Credit Score. Following are the phone numbers for the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian (TRW): 1-800-682-7654, Trans Union: 1-800-888-4213 and CBI/EQUIFAX: 1-800-685-1111. You do have the right to directly dispute with the consumer reporting agency the accuracy and completeness of any information furnished by that agency.
- Please bring photo-copies of the following documents: Drivers license; Social Security card; Pay stub and/or other Proof of your Income. If you are self-employed, Copies of the past two (2) years income tax returns and the last six bank statements. Have all of the above information with you if you want to fill out the rental application at the property.
- Discuss if you have PETS before the showing. We will require photos of all pets with application.
- Look over a map online if you are not familiar with the areas of the properties you are interested in and drive by the property first and check the location and neighborhood yourself before making an appointment to view it. The available rentals posted on this website will have maps.
- Read over the entire description for each property. We made it long on purpose so that we can answer most of the commonly asked questions and keep you wasting time visiting a property that you would never choose if you new the full details.
- If you live out of town use someone that can look at the property for you. Perhaps a relative, friend or employer. Rental applications approved “sight unseen” are binding unless the application is subject to or contingent upon your inspection. Properties will continue to be offered for rent until the application is firm.
Tenant should never:
- Ask if the neighborhood is safe. Property Managers and owners cannot answer that question because of potential liability. Either call the local police department and check with the sheriffs office for data.
- Lie about a bad situation. The truth will work in your favor – there are some Property Managers and owners that are more liberal than others in understanding and working with problems.
- Say that you are desperate and must have a rental now, or show up at the showing in a U-Haul truck. It may suggest that you have been evicted.