If you are a homeowner and are considering renting out one or some of your units, then you’ve come to the right place.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions from Landlords I’ve met over the years:

Question: Does it cost me anything to use your service?

Answer:  The short answer is no.  In North Jersey and Manhattan, the tenants pay the Broker fee 95% of the time which means, chances are, it won’t cost you anything for my team and I to find you a qualified tenant.  We will advise you up front you as to what market you are in so you know going in what potential cost there is on you.

Question: How does the process work?

Answer: The first step is to arrange a viewing of the property.  My team and I will come to preview the property in person at which point we will price the apartment according to market value and provide professional photos.

Question: How do we go about showing the property?

Answer:  We will arrange with you to either pick up keys so we can show the unit when we receive confirmation, or if you as the owner prefer to be present on all showings, we will arrange with you on those requested times. We want to make this process as seamless and convenient on everyone as possible. If the unit is currently occupied, we like to give 24 hours’ notice to the occupant before showing.

Question: How do qualify prospective tenants?

Answer: If a tenant shows interest in renting your property, we have a 5 step screening process to make sure you are comfortable in moving forward with them.

5 Step Screening Process:

  1. Application: We have the applicant fill out a 2 page NJAR application which has a lot of the necessary information (Name, address, DOB, SS, employer, etc).  During this process, we will also provide a copy of their Driver’s License.
  2. Credit Report: We run the credit through the 3 bureaus and provide the detailed report and scores for your review.  We will assist you in reading these reports if necessary.
  3. References: On the application, we request 3 references from the applicant.  If you as the landlord want to call or have us call on your behalf we are happy to do so.
  4. Verification of Income: This typically comes in the form of pay stubs if they are a W2 employee or a YTD (Year To Date) earnings from their employer if they are a 1099 employee.
  5. Bank Statements: We can request bank statements to see what type of liquid reserves your potential future tenant has.  

Question:  After we determine we want to move forward with a tenant, what then?

Answer:  We will prepare a lease for you reflecting the terms and amounts you’ve agreed upon, have you review and make any necessary changes (if you have your own lease, we are more than happy to use that).  Once you have accepted the lease and its language, we will have the tenant come in and drop off monies to show their good faith in moving forward with the unit.  This typically includes, the security deposit, first month’s rent and broker fee.

How much can I charge a tenant for a Security Deposit?

Answer: In the state of NJ, by law you are not allowed to charge any more than 1.5 Month’s rent for the security deposit.  For example, if the monthly rent is $2000/month, the maximum amount you can charge in this case is $3000 for the security deposit.

Question:  What do I do with the security deposit?

Answer:  The law requires a landlord to deposit a tenant’s security into a banking institution or investment company. Many times, this is done so under the tenants’ social/information which is accomplished via a W9 form. The Landlord must notify the tenant within 30 days of Landlord’s receipt of the Security Deposit of:

(i) the name and address of the banking institution or investment company;
(ii) the type of account in which the Security Deposit is deposited or invested (for example, interest bearing or money market);
(iii) the amount of the Security Deposit and;
(iv) the current rate of interest for the account. The Act also requires payment in cash to Tenant of all interest earned on the Security Deposit upon the anniversary date of this Lease or the renewal of the term of this Lease. At such time, or at the time of a change in the type of account or a change in the banking institution or investment company, Landlord shall again notify Tenant of

(i) the name and address of the banking institution or investment company;
(ii) the type of account in which the Security Deposit is deposited or invested;
(iii) the amount of Security Deposit and;
(iv) the current rate of interest for the account. Such a notice shall also be given to Tenant within 30 days after conveyance of the Property.

Question:  If I’m renting to someone with a pet, can I charge a pet deposit?

Answer: Yes and No.  Yes, if the combined security and pet deposit does not exceed 1.5 Month’s.  For example, if the rental amount is $2000/month, and you charge $2750 for the security deposit and $250 for the pet fee totaling $3000, then this is legal.  Now, if it exceeds 1.5 Months, for example, in this example of $2000/month rental, you charge $3000 (1.5 Month’s) for security and an additional $250 for the pet deposit.  This is a no go.

Question:  If I can’t charge a pet deposit on top of the security, what can I do to help protect my property against damages done by a pet?

Answer: Non-refundable Pet fee/rent.  Depending on the situation, this fee can be in the form of an addition monthly pet rent charge, say $20 or so on top of the base rent or, this can be it can be a one-time pet fee.  Most landlords I’ve dealt with charge anywhere from $250-$500 per pet depending on situation.

Question:  When is the lease final?

Answer:  When both parties have executed the lease and have gone through the attorney review process if needed. In NJ, there is a 3 day attorney review period.  In NY, once the ink it’s the paper it’s final.

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