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Tenant – Frequently Asked Questions

Can I see a home before filling out an application?
Can I see a home before filling out an application?

No. For security and insurance purposes we require all interested parties to complete an application prior to viewing any of our available properties.

What are the requirements to rent a property?
While we are fairly stringent in our requirements, we try our best to accommodate each applicant’s personal situations. Our core requirements are as follows:

  • Collective income no less than three times the rental price
  • No bankruptcies in the past two years (must be discharged)
  • No open collections other than medical
  • No judgments
  • No Federal or State tax liens
  • No prior evictions
  • Criminal record subject to property owner approval

Should you not meet these requirements all is not lost. We still may work with you pending property owner approval. Some owners are more flexible than others, so we always keep an open mind toward potential tenants. If you know you will not meet the above specified requirements, please tell us before you fill out an application. We will contact any landlords that have indicated they will work outside of our standard requirements and see if they are interested in working with you; however, please keep in mind that we may require an additional security deposit to cover the cost of eviction.

What do you require to complete an application package?
In order to complete an application package we will need the following from each applicant:

  • Two most recent bank statements
  • Proof of income showing year-to-date
  • Copy of driver’s license
  • Copy of social security card
  • 1st Rate Rentals Credit report
How much is a credit report?
Credit reports cost $20 per applicant. Our credit reports include credit score; open, closed, and collection accounts; bankruptcy and foreclosure information; and criminal history. We provide free copies of your credit report and make them available to you for up to thirty (30) days.
How do I pay for a credit report?
Credit reports can be paid in person by cash, postal money order, or credit card; or online, through this website; or over the phone. We only accept Visa and Master Card for credit and debit payments.
How can I pay my rent?
Currently we only accept three forms of rental payments: Cashier’s Check, Postal Money Order, or direct mail (bill pay) Bank Checks. We are currently not accepting rent payments by credit or debit card due to the cost to run them. Additionally, due to consistent issues, we no longer accept Money Orders from Western Union or similar money gram establishments.

Rent can be submitted to our office directly or mailed to our office. Select tenants are given the option to pay by direct deposit.

When is the rent late?
Unless special arrangements are made, rent is always due from the 1st to the 3rd of every month.
What happens if I pay my rent late?
Late rents are subject to a late fee as outlined in your lease. Late notices are mailed and posted to the property. Additionally, each late rent is noted and filed on your property file. Multiple late rents could result in the non-renewal of your lease.
How much is the security deposit?
Our standard security deposit is the rent+$500. However, the landlord may choose an alternative security deposit value. Additionally, we may require an additional security deposit to cover pets or eviction costs should your application not meet our core requirements.
How can I break my lease?
Unless you are military personnel being transferred, you are required to maintain your lease until lease end. However, we will work with you to re-rent the property upon owner approval. In this case, you will be required to pay the 1st Rate Rentals lease-up fee of $299 and pay to advertise the property until the property is re-rented. Additionally, you will still be responsible for the monthly rent, general maintenance, and utilities until the property has been re-rented. New renters are subject to the same requirements you were when first renting the property.
Can I sublet?
No. 1st Rate Rentals does not allow subletting.
Can I have pets?
Pets are subject to property owner approval. In most cases one or two pets are fine. However, an additional pet deposit will be required.

We currently accept all legal pets with the exception of Rottweilers, Pitbulls, Doberman Pinscher, and Chows. Due to insurance issues, we can no longer accept these breeds

Are utilities included?
Unless otherwise noted, utilities are not covered by 1st Rate Rentals or the landlord. Tenants are required to maintain all utilities while occupying the property. Landlords are required to pay and maintain HOA dues, however.
The home I am interested in is located in a community; will I have access to community amenities?
Yes. Properties located in gated, lake, or other communities with paid amenities will get to use those amenities at no additional cost to the tenant.
Are there any restrictions on vehicles or boats?
Yes, but only minor restrictions. 1st Rate Rentals adheres to all HOA and city ordinances. This means we cannot allow occupants to permanently park on the street or park on the lawn. If you have more vehicles than the property can accommodate in the garage or driveway, you will be required to make other arrangements for additional vehicles. Boats and RV’s may reside on the property pending property owner and/or HOA approval.