The Rental Process
1. Decide if you want to use a real estate agent to help find a home to rent.
Finding homes to rent without an agent is a lot of work. Tenants become frustrated looking for homes to rent on their own. A real estate agent can search for all the rental homes listed on the MLS. Many of these homes can be found on real estate websites online, but often the information is outdated, if even by 24 hours.
An agent will do all the work for you in finding current homes listed for rent on the market. Agent fees are by paid by the landlord. So the services are free for you!
You will be required to sign a Tenant Brokerage Agreement with the agent. Agents spend hours researching for properties for you, showing you properties and gas. The contract just insures that you are exclusively working with one agent and it is commitment to the business relationship
Sometimes your agent will require a retainer fee to help cover the costs. This is a non-refundable fee if you do not rent a house. The fee is refunded to you once you are approved for a property and have signed a rental agreement.
2. Applying to Rent.
You will be required to fill out a rental application for each person over 18 planning to live in the home. Your signed application will normally give the landlord permission to run a credit check and a background check.
Most application fees range from $25 to $75 per application. It takes 2 or 3 days to process an application. If future tenant has bad credit, some landlords will require double deposit or first and last months rent once the application is approved.
Example: If rental amount is $1300. The deposit will also be $1300 equaling a total of $2600 to move in. When credit or rental history is bad, you will pay double deposit which is $1300 + 1300 and $1300 for the first months rent totaling $3900 to move in.
3. First Month's Rent & Security Deposit
When you sign the lease, you will be required to pay deposit to hold the property. Then on your Move-in date you will pay your first months rent. Some landlords may require both once lease is signed upfront before move in date.
A Landlord will only hold the property for 30 days so once deposit is paid be prepared to move within the 30 day time frame.
4. Pet Deposit / Pet Fee
If you have a pet, you will normally be required to pay a refundable pet deposit or a non-refundable pet fee. The amount is usually on a case by case basis.