Q: What is the process for renting a home? There is a 3 step process that you need to follow to make sure you qualify for the home. These steps can be found in the Rental Steps link.
Q: What is a Pre-Lease? In our area, leases typically run from August 1st until the end of July of the following year. Homes that will be coming available in July are marketed beginning in February of that year. This is called a pre-lease, because you are signing a lease to move in on August 1st (which could be months later), and not right away.
Q: Why can’t I find something to rent!? Reference the question above. If you are out of the normal cycle, it is going to be difficult to find something. There is not as much availability until it is determined what homes are going to be available next year. When that is determined, those homes are listed for rent...usually beginning around February 1st.
Q: How do I reserve a home? Once you have found a home where you want to live, you will need to sign a lease and pay a non-refundable reservation fee equal to one month’s rent. The reservation fee is converted to one month of rent after you move in. If you move in on a day other than the 1st, the ? next ? month’s rent will be prorated. The fee is non-refundable, because we will now take the home off the market and hold it specifically for you. The nonrefundable reservation fee is NOT a security deposit. The security deposit is not collected until the day of move-in after we complete the move-in inspection.
Q: What is a tenant portal? Your tenant portal in online access through our website to important documents and information regarding your tenancy. For example, your lease and move-in inspection will be posted there for easy access 24/7 wherever you have internet access. You can also pay your rent online through your tenant portal and request repairs. To login to your tenant portal, simply go to the home page of our website and in the upper right hand corner click on “Resident Login”. You will be prompted to enter your email address and password to enter.
Q: Do you offer automatic payments? Yes! Automatic rent payments are offered as a benefit to our residents who maintain a consistent payment history. Please note that this benefit may be revoked if rent is returned as unpaid (NSF), and future payments might be required to be made by certified funds.
Q: Can I get out of my lease early? Your lease will tell you what options are available to you. In most cases, getting out of a lease early is ? not ? possible. This is also known as “breaking a lease.” Bear in mind that a lease is a legal document that creates in writing an agreement between two parties. One party (the landlord) agrees to let the other party (the tenant) utilize a property as their home. In exchange for doing so, the tenant agrees to pay rent for a specified period of time. The amount of rent as well as the duration of the lease is dictated by the market. If the tenant breaks a lease at some point in the rental cycle other than the normal beginning or ending times, it is difficult, if not impossible, for the landlord to find a replacement. It is not fair to the landlord to have a property sitting empty because a tenant left early. In return, most landlords will also agree that they will not tell the tenant that they must leave early. Both parties rely on these mutual promises, and there are serious ramifications for breaking a lease for either party.
Q: What happens if I break my lease? You are still responsible for meeting the obligations of your lease even if you leave the property. You can be taken to court (sued) for the balance of the lease, a judgment can be made against you, your wages can be garnished, and an entry can be made on your credit report. These items can impact you dramatically and affect your ability to get a job, obtain credit, buy a car, rent again, or even buy a home in the future.
Q: Why do I need Tenant Insurance? The landlord has insurance that covers the property when it comes to issues that arise from items outside the home like damage from tornadoes or a tree that falls on the building. However, the landlord is NOT responsible for situations that the tenant causes. For example, if you leave a pot on the stove that overheats and causes a kitchen fire, you ? are responsible for the damage. This can run in the tens of thousands of dollars! Also, your personal possession are NOT covered by the landlord’s insurance. If a tornado damages the home or a burglar steals your possessions you will not be reimbursed. Also, the landlord is not responsible for accidents that may occur at your home. Remember, you may be renting, but it is still ? your ? home, and you are responsible for what happens there. If you have a friend over who slips on a piece of ice that was dropped out of the freezer onto the kitchen floor and injures him/herself, ? you ? are responsible for your friend’s medical bills. These are just a few reasons why you need tenant insurance.
Q: Why are pets not allowed in some cases? Allergies are increasingly affecting our residents, and a significant contributor to allergies are pets. Cats in particular are the cause of serious breathing issues in many people to the point that a visit to a doctor, if not a hospital, is necessary. To maintain a healthy environment for all of our valued residents, pets are often prohibited. Although this is a decision made by each individual landlord, the majority of landlords do follow this rule. In some cases, a small (20lbs. or less) hypoallergenic dog might be allowed.
Q: Why can’t I share a 3 bedroom, single family home with my 2 roommates? If your home is in Athens-Clarke County, you may NOT have any more than 2 unrelated individuals residing in a single family home* per ACC Municipal Code (Sec. 9-15-18). We are sorry, but this is NOT our rule. This is a government instituted law that applies to almost all single family homes in Athens. Do not let a homeowner or management company mislead you into believing that it is okay to ignore the code or that they "do it all the time" and you won't get caught. For example, a third (or more) roommate who is found to be occupying a single family residence* may be considered a trespasser and subject to immediate expulsion as well as potential significant government fines.
*Multi-Family homes, apartments, duplexes, quads, etc. are not covered by this rule. If you have more than 2 unrelated individuals that you wish to live with, you must choose a multi-family option.
Q: Why is the last month’s rent not pro-rated? This is similar to renting a hotel room. Normally, you are not allowed in check in until late afternoon, and you are required to check out, usually, by mid-morning. So, even though you’ve paid for a “day,” you do not have access to the room for 24 hours. This is because the room must be prepared for your stay after the previous guest leaves and likewise when you leave. It is the same process when renting a home, just on a longer scale.
Q: Why is the security deposit more than the rent? Mainly to distinguish it from rent. Although it is often common to charge a month’ rent as a security deposit, there is no rule that says this must be the case. Also, a particular applicant’s credit score may require a more significant security deposit.
Q: How do I request repairs? Non-emergency repair requests should be submitted through your online tenant portal.
Q: What do I do in case of an emergency repair issue? Emergency repairs consist of things that pose immediate safety concerns or may damage the property. If there is a life threatening emergency, you should call 911 immediately. Examples of emergency repairs would be flooding from malfunctioning plumbing or damage created by a storm, electrical issues that might cause a fire, etc. A malfunctioning HVAC unit (heat/air conditioning) is not considered an emergency and a service request should be submitted for review on the first available business day.