No matter how detailed your listing description is, you will inevitably get the same questions asked over and over again by each person who is inquiring about your rental property.
Instead of answering each question individually, we like to supply a list of FAQs for potential applicants to review before they spend the time submitting an application.
The top 5 most frequently asked questions by tenants include:
- Do you accept Section 8/Other Housing Program?
- Do you allow pets?
- What if I don’t meet all of your criteria?
- I’m in a hurry and have the move-in funds now. Can I pay and move in today?
- Can I take possession in 1 month, 2 months, etc?
Plus, there are several more questions that you are bound to get over the years as you list more properties for rent online.
With those main questions in mind, I’ll cover everything you need to create a great FAQ document that will save you time answering repeat questions below.
Let’s dive in!
- How Much Is The Application Fee?
- Will You Run A Credit & Background Check?
- What If I Don’t Meet All Of Your Criteria?
- Do You Accept Section 8/Other Housing Program?
- Will You Consider A Shorter-Term Or Longer-Term Lease Than The Listing States?
- Do You Allow Pets?
- Can I Smoke Inside/Outside The Home?
- Are There Extra Monthly Fees?
- What Are The Average Total Monthly Utilities?
- Can I Pay My Security Deposit In Installments?
- Can I Take Possession In 1 Month, 2 Months, Etc.?
- I’m In A Hurry & I Have The Move-In Funds Now. Can I Pay & Move In Today?
- My Boyfriend/Mom/Sister/Friend/Etc. Wants To Live With Me, But I Don’t Want Them On The Lease. Is That Okay?
- Am I Allowed To Sublet?
- Is There An Early Lease Termination Fee?
- What Payment Methods Do You Accept For Paying Rent?
- How Will Paying Rent Work (Due Dates, Late Fees, Etc.)?
- Do You Accept Prepaid Rent?
- Can My Due Date Be The 15th Of The Month?
- How Are Maintenance Requests Handled?
- Can I Paint My Room Or Swap Anything Out From The Home (Light Fixtures, Ceiling Fans, Locks, Etc.)?
- Final Thoughts
- Related Content
1. How Much Is The Application Fee?
The first question you might be asked by a potential applicant is how much the application fee is.
If you are using Zillow, Apartments.com, or any other free online listing platform like we do, then they typically charge and collect their own application fee. For example, at the time of writing this, Zillow charges a one-time $35 application fee that lets the applicant apply to as many rentals as they wish within a 30-day window.
That application fee does not go to us. Zillow keeps it, the applicant pays it, and we get their credit and background report for free. It’s a good deal for us because we don’t pay anything, and it’s a good deal for the applicants because they pay a one-time fee instead of a fee for every home that they apply to.
In our FAQ document, we explain how the application fees work and that we do not collect the fee, the listing platform does.
If you are using a different software to collect background and credit checks, such as Stessa’s Rental Application feature, and require your own application fee, then you’ll want to explain the fee and any requirements associated with it.
Application Fee Answer Example
Here’s how to get started on renting one of our properties:
- Application Requirements: All individuals aged 18 and above who are interested in our rentals must complete an application.
- Apartments.com Application: If you choose to apply through Apartments.com, a fee of $29.00 (plus tax) covers up to 10 participating listings for a 30-day period. It’s important to note that this application fee is non-refundable and is handled directly by Apartments.com, not by us.
- Zillow Application: Opting for Zillow? Great! For a fee of $35.00 (plus tax), you can apply to an unlimited number of participating listings over 30 days. Just like Apartments.com, this application fee is non-refundable and goes directly to Zillow.
- Background Check and Credit Report: Once you’ve paid the application fee, a background check and credit report will be shared with us for our review.
- All Adults Included: Keep in mind that every adult aged 18 or older planning to reside in the rental property must complete an application.
For further assistance on the application process and the inclusion of co-applicants, please refer to this tutorial from Apartments.com or this tutorial from Zillow.com. Note: Submitting a credit report to us via Zillow or Apartments.com will not impact your credit score. We are excited to review your application!
2. Will You Run A Credit & Background Check?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if you will run a credit and background check.
As a part of the screening process, you should be running a credit and background check on all applicants. It never fails to amaze me how many times we protect ourselves by requiring a credit and background check to be submitted.
Every time we list a rental property as available, we inevitably get 20-30+ inquiries and most of them weed themselves out because they know they can’t hide anything from us when we require a credit and background report.
Then, all that’s left are the people who would pass and actually want the property. It ends up saving us a ton of time by making this a requirement because we know we are only dealing with serious people who want to rent our property and will work well with us.
In the past, we’ve skipped this step, and while most of the tenants we got were good people who mostly paid on time, there were some who scammed us out of months of rent, damaged the place, and caused a ton of chaos in our lives.
Ever since we switched to requiring a background and credit check to be submitted, we have gotten much more stable tenants who take care of the property.
We simply explain all of these requirements up front so there is no confusion when an applicant submits an application. It’s on them if they want to pay for the application fee knowing we probably won’t accept them if they don’t meet all of our criteria from our background and credit check.
The areas we screen for include:
- The monthly household income must be 3x the rent price or greater
- No evictions on record
- No violent criminal history/felonies on record within the last 8 years
- Minimum credit score of 600 with no collections and no delinquent open loans on record (or a cosigner/guarantor might be required – as long as one person in the household passes the minimum credit requirement, they can count as a cosigner for everyone else in the household if needed)
- This home is also non-smoking
- No more than 2 occupants are permitted per bedroom
- Pets are an extra $50 a month added to the rent and must be covered on your renter’s insurance (max: 2 pets)
Credit & Background Check Answer Example
When you decide to apply for one of our homes through Apartments.com or Zillow, you’re essentially covering the cost of a credit and background check. That application fee is paid to Apartments.com or Zillow.com (not to us). Rest assured, we’ll carefully review these checks for all individuals aged 18 or over who will call our property home.
Our approach is pretty straightforward – we accept the most qualified applicants who meet our minimum standards. Here’s a snapshot of what those standards entail:
- Personal Identification: We require all applicants to have valid photo identification and an active social security number.
- Income/Employment History: To ensure financial stability, we look for monthly household incomes that exceed three times the rent. It’s crucial that all income is verifiable, as unverifiable sources won’t be considered.
- Positive Rental History: A great track record with previous landlords is a must. We check for positive references from all previous landlords within the past 5 years.
- Eviction History: Applicants should have a clean history without any prior evictions or unpaid judgments from previous landlords.
- Credit History: We seek applicants with a responsible financial history, which includes a minimum credit score of 600, with no collections and no delinquent open loans (or a cosigner/guarantor might be required – as long as one person passes the minimum credit requirement, they can count as a cosigner for everyone else in the household if needed).
- Background Check: All applicants aged 18 and older will undergo a background check. We’re looking for a pattern of responsibility and no record of violent crimes or felonies within the last 8 years.
- Pets Allowed: Pets are an extra $50 per month added to the rent and must be covered on your renter’s insurance (max: 2 pets)
- Non-Smoking: We maintain a non-smoking policy within our properties.
- Occupancy: The occupancy limit is set at 2 people per bedroom.
In addition to the credit and background check, we also verify employment income and seek positive references from previous landlords. We want to ensure that everyone enjoys a safe and pleasant living environment in our homes.
3. What If I Don’t Meet All Of Your Criteria?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is what happens if they don’t meet all of your screening criteria.
Most of the inquiries you get on your available rental property will be from people who aren’t serious about moving or people who don’t meet all of your criteria. Instead of answering this question 100 times, we just added it to our FAQ page.
We let them know upfront that we most likely will not accept anyone who does not meet all of our requirements, but if we can’t find anyone who meets them, we might follow up with a few more questions from them. If they want to be considered in the running, then we recommend they apply because they might be the best applicant we get.
Not Meeting Criteria Answer Example
We’re all about welcoming applicants, and we always strive to work with those who meet our qualifications. But here’s the good news: if you’re unsure about meeting all our criteria, we encourage you to send us an email and potentially submit an application.
In some cases, if there aren’t other applicants who fully meet our minimum standards, we might touch base with you to ask a few more questions. This could potentially help us find a way to qualify your application. So don’t hesitate to take that first step and ask us about the criteria you are concerned that you won’t meet – we’re here to assist you during your home search!
4. Do You Accept Section 8/Other Housing Program?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if you accept Section 8/any other housing program.
Now, this one is tricky. Personally, we love to rent to Section 8 voucher holders because it is guaranteed money from the government (no more chasing down rent checks) and the property is required to be kept to a certain standard (you get people who have incentives to take care of the property.
However, not all of our properties are able to pass Section 8 inspection requirements, so we cannot accept Section 8 vouchers at all of our properties. (Some of our properties have basements that occasionally flood during the rainy season, and Section 8 does not like that. It’s inevitable in 100+ year-old homes.)
In the cases where we can accept Section 8 vouchers, we explain that directly in the listing to minimize some of the questions we get. However, in the cases where we cannot accept Section 8 vouchers, we explain that we require verifiable income to be at least 3x the monthly rent.
In most cases, Section 8 tenants do not make enough money to meet this requirement, so they go elsewhere looking for housing. We’ve even explained in the past that the home can’t pass a Section 8 inspection, and that typically makes them look elsewhere as well.
We really enjoy the program though and have 4 of our 18 rental units in the program (all at different properties). So, I recommend you give them a try before you rule it out completely!
Accepting Section 8 Answer Example
We want to ensure that our rental process is as clear and accommodating as possible. Here’s the scoop on income and Section 8 housing:
Income Requirement: Typically, we ask that your verifiable income is at least three times the monthly rent.
Section 8 Approved Properties: Some of our properties are Section 8 approved, and we make sure to mention this in the listings.
Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers: If the listing says we accept Section 8 housing choice vouchers, you have a Section 8 housing choice voucher and it covers a portion of the rent, that’s absolutely fine! In this case, everyone over 18 residing in the home still needs to meet our minimum screening criteria as outlined above. The only difference is that your income should be at least three times your portion of the rent (rather than the entire rent since the voucher takes care of part of it).
If your voucher covers the full rent amount, then you’re good to go on the income requirement because Section 8 will cover the entirety of the rent.
The credit score/history, past rental history, occupancy, smoking, and pet policy requirements remain the same. We’re here to help make the rental process smooth for you!
5. Will You Consider A Shorter-Term Or Longer-Term Lease Than The Listing States?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if you accept a shorter- or longer-term lease.
For our rental properties, the minimum lease term length we will over is 12 months. We do not offer short-term or mid-term housing, so we explain that on our FAQ page.
Occasionally we will get potential tenants who want a lease longer than 12 months (often 18-24 months). In those cases, we still sign a 12-month lease with them so we can make sure the relationship works out before we extend the length of time with them.
We explain that we love tenants who want to stay longer and most likely will renew their lease with them after 1 year if they still want to stay.
Lease Length Answer Example
Our lease term starts at a minimum of one year, but we’re thrilled to welcome residents who envision staying with us for the long haul. Your commitment to a longer stay is something we truly appreciate!
6. Do You Allow Pets?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if you allow pets.
This question is dependent upon your rental property rules and regulations. In our properties, we allow a max of 2 pets for $50 per month added to their rent.
In the past, we’ve said no pets, and the tenants ALWAYS end up sneaking a pet onto the property. Instead of fighting them on this and not collecting money for the damages caused by pets, we just let them do it and collect the money on a monthly basis.
We’ve also found that tenants who have pets end up staying longer because they don’t want to relocate their pets and traumatize them. So now, we just say yes to pets and explain the cost added to the rent if they want one or two at the property.
Pet Policy Answer Example
Good news for pet lovers! We’re absolutely pet-friendly, and you can have your furry friend join you in your new home for a small additional monthly fee added to your rent.
But before your pet moves in, we do require prior written consent from us. It’s a straightforward process, and we ask that pets that can be covered by insurance are indeed covered under the liability section of your renter’s insurance. Typically, this applies to dogs, but it’s a good practice for other pets as well.
For more details about pet-related fees, just take a quick look at the “Are there extra monthly fees?” section listed below.
7. Can I Smoke Inside/Outside The House?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if you allow smoking.
This question is also dependent upon your rental property rules and regulations. In our properties, we do not allow smoking inside or outside within 25 feet of any of the buildings on the property.
We actually do have a tenant that we inherited who was allowed to smoke inside the property. He’s been there for 26 years, smoking the entire time, and the inside of his home is completely damaged from smoke. The paint is yellowed and peeling from the ceiling, the whole house reeks of smoke, and the doors, blinds, appliances, and everything else inside have a thin film of smoke residue coating it.
Since we inherited him and he’s okay with his home looking this way, we’ve let him continue to smoke in the home. But after seeing that, it just confirms that smoke is so damaging to the home and not worth allowing inside our rental properties.
Plus, all of our properties are multi-families, and neighboring tenants do not like the smell of smoke permeating through the walls. So we do not allow it and explain that upfront.
Smoking Policy Answer Example
Just a friendly heads up: We have a strict no-smoking policy, both indoors and outdoors, for all applicants/residents. It’s an important part of maintaining a clean and healthy living environment for everyone.
If your application is approved, please be aware that you, as well as any guests who smoke, are responsible for any smoke-related damage caused to the home, whether it’s inside or outside. We truly appreciate your cooperation in keeping our spaces smoke-free!
8. Are There Extra Monthly Fees?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if there are any extra monthly fees.
The only extra monthly fee we charge is if the tenant has pets. That’s an extra $50 added to their rent for a max of two pets. However, if they sneak a pet onto the property, then they will be charged a $100 lease violation fee and the $50 will be added to their monthly rent.
Other than that and the rent price, the only other things the tenant will be expected to pay are the utilities that they are responsible for. Everything else minus damages to the rental caused by misuse/neglect or lease violations is included in the rent price.
Answering this question lets the potential tenant know what to expect and know that we are transparent with our pricing model.
Monthly Fee Answer Example
Let’s talk about having pets and managing utilities:
Pet Policy: We’re delighted to welcome furry companions into our community. For residents with pets, there’s an additional monthly fee of $50 for up to 2 pets. Two pets are our maximum allowance at any given time. It’s important that all pets are approved by our management team and also covered by your renter’s insurance.
Here are a few examples to give you a clearer picture:
- Example 1: Sally has 2 dogs. She’ll pay an extra $50 monthly fee, and both dogs need to be covered by her renter’s insurance.
- Example 2: Johnny has 1 cat and 1 dog. He’ll pay the additional $50 monthly fee, and his dog should be covered by his renter’s insurance.
- Example 3: Katie and George have 1 dog. They’ll pay an extra $50 monthly fee, and their dog should be covered by their renter’s insurance.
- Example 3: Becky and Rob have 1 rabbit. They’ll pay the $50 monthly fee.
Important Note: Sneaking a pet into the property later, if discovered, will incur a $100 lease violation fee, and the $50 monthly fee will be added to the monthly rent for up to 2 pets. Having more than 2 pets may result in eviction.
Utilities: Let’s clear up the utilities situation:
- If the property listing states that utilities are “paid for by the resident,” these are your responsibility. You’ll need to manage and cover these monthly bills.
- On the other hand, if the listing says utilities are “paid for by the landlord/owner,” you won’t need to worry about those bills. They are the landlord’s responsibility.
We’re here to make your experience as comfortable as possible, and we’re happy to assist with any questions you may have!
9. What Are The Average Total Monthly Utilities?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is what an average month of utilities might cost them.
We like to provide the average total monthly utilities so the tenant can create an estimated budget and feel confident that they can afford the expenses of this rental property.
Of course, it’s not the actual utility costs they will pay, but it gives them a rough estimate of what to expect in case they are moving from a different state or city and aren’t sure of what to expect.
Average Monthly Utility Cost Answer Example
A good estimate to use for your average total monthly utility cost is around $200* per month for all utilities: electricity, gas, water, trash, and internet.
If the property description lists utilities that are paid for by the landlord, then this average cost is likely to be less.
*This is an estimate for your convenience only. Actual utility costs will vary based on the home and use.
10. Can I Pay My Security Deposit In Installments?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if they can make small payments on their security deposit over time.
If a potential applicant is asking this question, then you should run away quickly. If they can’t save the security deposit and first month’s rent by the time of the lease signing, then that is a red flag that they are going to have a hard time paying for rent each month.
To answer this, we simply explain that the security deposit and first month’s rent must be paid in full prior to receiving the keys. If they can’t do that, the we will move on to the next qualified applicant.
Security Deposit Installment Payment Answer Example
The security deposit and all move-in funds must be paid in full prior to getting the keys. This ensures a smooth move-in process. We greatly appreciate your cooperation!
11. Can I Take Possession In 1 Month, 2 Months, Etc.?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if they can move in at a much later date than normal.
Every once in a while, we get this question, and the answer is dependent upon the time of year and the rental market. When the rental market is hot and we are getting a lot of inquiries/applications, we explain that we can’t hold a rental unit for more than 2 weeks.
However, when the rental market is cool (which sometimes happens when we have a vacancy in the winter), then we will extend the time that they can take possession out by 1-2 months.
For example, a few years ago, we were struggling to find a qualified applicant for one of our vacant rental homes towards the end of October. After about a month of sorting through applications, we finally found an applicant who would qualify, but they were moving from Pennsylvania and couldn’t leave until January 1st.
Since we weren’t having luck with other applicants, we said we could hold the property for them until January 1 only if they paid a discounted rent price for November and December, and if the lease term started on January 1 and still went out 12 full months. We only charged them $200 for those two months to cover the cost of utilities. They were very grateful and agreed to the terms.
That was a once-in-a-blue-moon situation though, and oftentimes, we just say we can’t hold the home for that long.
Delayed Move-In Date Answer Example
We’re excited to have you join our community, and we want to let you know that once you’re approved, we can hold the home for up to two weeks from that date. Typically, our application screening process takes around 1-3 days, and we’ll schedule the lease signing shortly after, within that two-week holding window.
However, we understand that life can be unpredictable, and we’re here to help. Sometimes, we can make exceptions based on the number of applications we’re receiving at the time. If you have any uncertainties or unique circumstances, please feel free to reach out to us via email. We’re more than happy to discuss your moving timeline and find the best solution for you.
12. I’m In A Hurry & I Have The Move-In Funds Now. Can I Pay & Move In Today?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if they can move in immediately.
If a potential tenant is trying to move in today, that’s also typically a red flag and a sign that you want to avoid them. The best way to answer this is to tell them to submit an application and if they qualify, then we can move through the next steps as quickly as possible to try to accommodate their desired move-in date.
A potential tenant typically only says that when they are trying to waive money in front of your face to get around having to submit a background and credit check. They do this because they are typically hiding something.
And if they aren’t, then they can submit an application and go through the normal screening process like everyone else.
Rushed Move-In Answer Example
We’d love for you to go ahead and complete our application! Once we’ve taken the time to carefully process it and confirm that you meet all our qualification standards, we’ll be delighted to have a chat about your move-in date. Give us a couple of days, and we’ll be in touch to make those arrangements.
13. My Boyfriend/Mom/Sister/Friend/Etc. Wants To Live With Me, But I Don’t Want Them On The Lease. Is That Okay?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if they can exclude an adult living with them from the lease.
Again, a question like this is another red flag. If a potential tenant doesn’t want another adult on the lease, then they are definitely trying to hide something (typically an eviction, a felony, or a horrible credit score full of bad debt and collections).
We answer this question by simply stating that all adults over 18 must submit an application, and if we find any adults living in the home that aren’t on the lease later, they will be required to submit an application and pass our requirements otherwise an eviction can occur.
That is usually enough to make these types of tenants go look for housing elsewhere.
Names On The Lease Answer Example
We’re excited to have you as part of our community, and we want to make sure everyone is on the same page! Here’s how we handle residents over 18:
Moving In Together: If you’re planning to live in the home, we kindly ask that you complete an application, meet our minimum screening standards, and be listed on the lease. This is a policy we follow for all residents, and we’re unable to make exceptions.
Joining Later: Now, if someone joins the property at a later date, they’ll also need to submit an application, meet our minimum screening criteria, and be added to the lease. We want to ensure that everyone is properly accounted for.
The Screening Process: Please understand that the screening requirements are in place to maintain a safe and comfortable living environment for all residents. If, unfortunately, the individual doesn’t meet our minimum standards, we may need to ask them to leave, or it could potentially result in an eviction.
We’re here to assist you every step of the way, and we appreciate your cooperation in creating a great living experience for all our residents!
14. Am I Allowed To Sublet?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if they are allowed to sublet their lease to another tenant.
We don’t allow subletting in our rental properties because we have no control over who will be living in the home and whether they will pay rent/follow the rules or not. It’s generally a huge hassle and a big risk for us, so we don’t allow it.
Instead of allowing subletting, however, we do allow tenants to break the lease if they need to by providing an early terminate fee (explained below).
Sublet Policy Answer Example
We’re all for open communication and flexibility. Subletting is generally not permitted unless we’ve given our prior written consent. Keep in mind that in certain cases, we may choose to deny subletting entirely. If you’re ever considering subletting, just get in touch with us, and we’ll discuss the options and find the best way to move forward. Your understanding is greatly appreciated!
15. Is There An Early Lease Termination Fee?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if there are any consequences to breaking their lease early if they need to.
A lease is a legally binding document that requires the tenant to pay rent for the full lease term. However, we understand that life sometimes happens and the last thing we want to do is force a tenant to stay in a home that they no longer want to stay in.
Instead of fighting them to stay for the rest of the term, we offer an early lease termination fee equal to 2 months’ rent. It seems a little harsh upfront, but if a tenant is desperate enough to get out of their lease, we offer the flexibility for them to do it all while protecting ourselves because we should be able to fill the home again within 2 months.
When we explain this policy from the beginning, it typically discourages tenants from breaking their lease early.
Lease Early Termination Policy Answer Example
In most cases, you’re responsible for the rent throughout the entire lease term, unless certain circumstances arise, such as military duty or the property becoming uninhabitable.
However, if you ever find that you need to leave early and would like to terminate the lease, we offer an option. By paying two months’ rent, you can conclude the lease ahead of schedule.
Please remember that for this option, we do require prior written consent from us and the necessary paperwork must be signed to formalize the early lease termination. We’re here to help make the process as smooth as possible for you!
16. What Payment Methods Do You Accept For Paying Rent?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is what payment methods you’ll accept for paying rent.
Depending on the rent collection software you use, you might not be able to collect rent in all of the ways a tenant might want to pay. For example, we only collect payments through Apartments.com. They can choose to pay using a credit card, debit card, bank account, or prepaid card. We don’t accept cash, money orders, or checks though, so they will have to use one of the other payment methods to pay rent.
Apartments.com offers a way for all tenants to pay, even the ones without bank accounts, so we love using them as our rent collection software.
By explaining this upfront, we’ve found we run into fewer issues down the road.
Payment Methods Accepted Answer Example
Paying rent is a breeze with our online payment platform provided through Apartments.com. Once your application is accepted, we’ll send you an invitation to set up payments on Apartments.com. This way, you can conveniently choose your preferred payment method and schedule.
Apartments.com offers flexibility with various payment options, including ACH from your bank account, debit cards, credit cards, and prepaid cards. Setting up payments to come directly from your bank account is free. However, if you opt for a debit, credit card, or prepaid card, there will be a 2.75% processing fee.
For more detailed information on how to make rent payments through Apartments.com, check out this helpful resource. We’re here to make the payment process as convenient as possible for you!
17. How Will Paying Rent Work (Due Dates, Late Fees, Etc.)?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is what they can expect when rent is due.
Again, anything you can explain in detail upfront will help minimize headaches down the line. We like to explain the due dates for rent and how late fees will work if they don’t pay on time.
In fact, we have a whole rent collection system that makes collecting rent from 18 tenants a breeze. Check out my other article for more information.
Paying Rent Answer Example
We’ve got a straightforward rent schedule to make things easy. Here’s how it works:
- Rent is due on the 1st of the month.
- We offer a grace period until the end of the day on the 5th (by 11:59 PM). During this time, you can pay without incurring a late fee.
- If rent is paid on the 6th day of the month, a $50 non-refundable late fee will be applied.
- For each day following the 6th, there will be an additional $10 daily late fee until all rent and late fees are paid in full.
Here’s an example to illustrate:
- Day 1: Rent is due.
- Day 2: Rent is late, but the grace period is active.
- Day 3: Rent is late, grace period continues.
- Day 4: Rent is late, the grace period is still in effect.
- Day 5: Rent is late, but you have until 11:59 PM to pay without late fees.
- Day 6: Rent is late; a $50 late fee is charged.
- Day 8: Rent is late; a $10 daily late fee is charged.
- Day 9: Rent is late; a $10 daily late fee is charged.
- Day 10: Rent is late; a $10 daily late fee is charged.
- Day 11: Rent is late; a $10 daily late fee is charged.
- Day 12: Rent is late; a $10 daily late fee is charged. Rent and late fees are paid.
Total Costs: Rent + $50 + (5 * $10) = Rent + $100 in late fees
Please remember: Rent for the next month is still due promptly on the 1st of the month. We’re here to make the process as clear as possible, and your timely payments are greatly appreciated!
18. Do You Accept Prepaid Rent?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if you accept prepaid rent.
Prepaid rent is also typically a red flag because it can be a sign that a tenant doesn’t have consistent income. To avoid this, we explain that we don’t accept prepaid rent and they need to submit an application to move forward with the screening process.
Prepaid Rent Policy Answer Example
While we don’t accept prepaid rent, please go ahead and complete our application. Once we’ve carefully processed and confirmed that you meet all our qualification standards, we’d love to discuss the next steps to get you into your new home as quickly as possible.
19. Can My Due Date Be The 15th Of The Month?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if they can have a different rent due date than the 1st of the month.
We simply answer this by saying no and explaining how our 5-day grace period works. No need to complicate things by having different due dates for different tenants. Rent is always due on the first of the month, no exceptions.
Different Rent Due Date Answer Example
Our rent schedule is designed to make things easy for everyone. Rent is due on the 1st of the month, and we provide a generous 5-day grace period. This means as long as your rent is paid by the 5th of the month, you won’t incur any late fees.
20. How Are Maintenance Requests Handled?
The next question you might be asked by a potential applicant is how maintenance requests will be handled.
By explaining how maintenance requests are handled, we immediately show the tenant that we do take care of our rental properties. This question isn’t asked often while a potential applicant is inquiring, but if they happen to see it on our FAQ page, they can start to get a feel of what to expect from us.
Maintenance Request Answer Example
Making sure your home is in tip-top shape is a top priority for us. To request maintenance, we’ve made it easy and efficient through Apartments.com. You can find a helpful tutorial here:
Our policy emphasizes the importance of resident communication. As soon as you notice any defects or potentially hazardous conditions in and around the premises, please notify us right away. This proactive approach is crucial because neglecting a small issue can sometimes lead to bigger problems, like a leaking roof or bathroom water damage.
Remember, open and clear communication is key. When you reach out to us, providing detailed information and good-quality pictures of the issue helps us address and resolve it quickly and efficiently. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated, and we’re here to keep your home in the best possible condition!
21. Can I Paint My Room Or Swap Anything Out From The Home (Light Fixtures, Ceiling Fans, Locks, Etc.)?
The final question you might be asked by a potential applicant is if they can modify the home in any way.
This question also isn’t typically asked by an inquiring applicant, but it always helps to set rules and regulations before a tenant rents from you and gets frustrated about something they didn’t know.
Typically, we don’t allow any modifications to the home because it makes turnovers more costly and takes longer. However, we have allowed rentals to be painted as long as the tenant agrees in writing to return the property back to its original painted color at the time of move-out.
But in this section, we mostly explain that they need written consent to modify anything.
Painting Room/Modifying Home Policy Answer Example
We believe in making your home feel like your own, but before you make any alterations – like changing locks, painting, replacing fixtures, adding wallpaper, or attaching shelves, curtains, or shades – we kindly request that you reach out to us for written permission.
We want to ensure that any changes align with our guidelines. It’s important to note that we reserve the right to make some considerations, such as approving colors, allowing or denying painting, and in some cases, we may request a professional job or even ask you to hire and cover the costs of a professional. Alternatively, if necessary, you may be responsible for restoring the property to its original state at the time of move-out.
We’re here to work with you and make your living experience as comfortable as possible while preserving the property’s integrity. Your understanding and cooperation are greatly appreciated!
That’s it! By now, you have a great Frequently Asked Questions document that you can send to inquiring tenants that will answer most of their questions. Now, all that’s left to do is screen some applications by verifying tenant income and employment!
We’ve found that by supplying this FAQ document while potential tenants are inquiring, we get fewer questions during the screening process. We also get tenants who know what to expect from us from the beginning, so there are fewer headaches down the road involving some of our policies.
I hope you find this article useful and that it helps you attract tenants who would love to live in your rental home!
Catch you in my next post!
Check out my recommended tools, templates, and resources to free up your time from constantly working on and worrying about your rental properties. My husband and I use these tools to self-manage 18 rental units (and counting) for only 5-10 hours a month.
Keep in mind that most of these items are either free or reasonably priced for the amount of value that they provide. My goal on this page is to recommend tools, templates, and resources that we use daily and wish we had known about at the beginning of our landlord journey. Since implementing them, they’ve saved us countless hours and tons of headaches.
Finding good tenants for a rental property is arguably one of the most essential tasks that a self-managing landlord must accomplish. You’re searching for a high-quality tenant that will pay on time, take care of the property, and be easy to communicate with all while trying to get the most amount of rent and filling the vacant unit as quickly as possible.
That’s no small feat! So, how can you find good tenants for your rental property?
Christine is a blogger and real estate investor/property manager who self-manages 18 rental units (and counting) alongside her husband, Adam. Although she successfully automates the management of her rentals and pockets the property management fee now, her path to success was not easy.
Go here to read her story, “From An Overwhelmed First-Time Landlord To A Pro Investor Self-Managing 18 Rentals On Less Than 10 Hours Per Month“.
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