5 Questions Tenants Often Ask Property Managers Prior to Signing a Lease

Potential tenants who are thinking of renting a home in North Carolina often have many questions for property managers. The importance of asking these questions and having a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of your lease before moving in rental property cannot be overstated. Below are five common questions tenants ask property managers before signing a lease.

Are Pets Allowed in Rental Unit?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for this question. Pet policies vary depending on the property management company and the individual rental property. If you own pets or wish to own a pet in the future, make sure you have a clear understanding of whether the lease agreement allows pets and any specific restrictions and terms for having pets.

Often, there are restrictions on the type, breed, and size of animal allowed on the rental property. Keep in mind, ‘dangerous’ breeds of dogs are generally prohibited because most insurance companies will deny coverage. You can also expect to pay for any damages caused by your pet. Finally, you may have to pay a pet deposit, pet fee or additional rent for your pet. For individuals considering renting a home in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill with Red Door Company, here’s our Pet Policy.

Do I Need Renter’s Insurance?

As mentioned in a previous article on renter’s insurance, the simple answer to this question is “Yes.” Your landlord’s insurance policy probably only covers the rental property’s structure, which means you need additional protection for your personal property. And along with property coverage, your renters insurance also covers tenant liability.

If you would rather not purchase renter’s insurance, you may not have a choice. Rental applicants will often find that some leases require proof of insurance by the tenant. Here are a few renters insurance tips for tenants which address this topic more thoroughly.

Do You Use Credit Scores in Tenant Screening?

For most property management companies in North Carolina, the tenant application screening process involves looking at multiple parts and pieces. This includes everything from rental history to income to criminal background checks and more. And, yes, one of the major parts of this process is often an applicant’s credit score. At Red Door Company, however, we believe in evaluating each applicant on an individual basis. To do this, our property management team looks at each individual’s credit report and not just the credit score to get a more accurate picture of your financial history.

What Will the Property’s Condition be Like When I Move In?

After signing a lease and taking possession of a rental home, tenants should expect that rental property to be move-in ready. When North Carolina property management companies discuss a property’s condition as move-in ready, it is likely those definitions differ from company to company.

Always make sure you ask for specifics on what you can expect the condition of the property to be like when you take possession. At Red Door Company, Move-in ready condition means your rental home will be professionally cleaned, which includes: cleaning the carpets, replacing blown light bulbs, changing batteries in smoke alarms, installing a new HVAC filter, tightening cabinet drawer hinges, etc. All of these tasks will be performed before move-in.

When Can I Expect to Get My Security Deposit Returned?

Most property management companies process tenant security deposits as fast as they can. Tenants can help speed up the process by leaving the rental property damage-free. When there are damages to be repaired, the speed with which a property management company can process the deposit depends on the availability and speed of repair vendors, the availability of materials, and other variables.

In North Carolina, the Tenant Security Deposit Act gives landlords 30 days to account for and/or refund a tenant’s security deposit. However, if the extent of the landlord’s claim against the security deposit cannot be determined in 30 days (perhaps there are extensive damages or damages that are too complex to repair in 30 days), then the landlord may issue an interim accounting within 30 days and a final accounting within 60 days. The statute does not provide an option to hold a tenant’s security deposit for more than 60 days without a full accounting.

It can’t be said enough: always make sure you have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of your lease before signing that lease. At Red Door Company, we believe in total transparency in the landlord/tenant relationship. We welcome your questions and always provide tenants with a set of clear policies and procedures to ensure a trouble-free tenancy without any unpleasant surprises. Contact us to learn more.