Thank you for your interest in leasing in the Greater Phoenix area. Below is some great information as well as Q & A's for your convenience. Should you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to email or call me personally. Additionally, you can sign up on my site to start your rental search today. There is no charge, it's free!
How the Rental Process Works
The rental market in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Glendale, and Cave Creek, and the East Valley, including Tempe, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert, is extremely competitive. Right now we have more tenants than homes available to lease. Therefore, it is super important that as a prospective tenant you do all the right things to ensure that you find a house and procure it successfully. Also, to make life easier for you, we can be your exclusive agent and do all the leg work for you. We can search out homes, call on other ads you may find, and show you just about anything you find, and it does not cost you a dime (the landlord pays us). This will help avoid dealing with multiple agents, owners and tons of appointments.
Reading a Listing
When you receive listings from us, here are some things to look at on the listing itself to make sure it meets all your requirements.
- Date Available
- Pet info
- Appliances included
- Furnished or unfurnished
**If you are finding homes on other websites, the information is not always accurate. Please send us the listing info and we will follow up for you.
What will I need to apply
95% of landlords require the following items, so it is good to gather these items ahead of time. All adults living in the future home over the age of 18 will EACH be expected to do the following.
- Complete a background and credit check. These can vary between $25 and $50 per adult. Some landlords will allow you to pull your own credit, but this is strictly on a case by case basis. If your credit is below 635, it is highly recommended that you have a letter of explanation written and signed. Foreclosures, short sales, and bankruptcies are not always a major concern. Outstanding debt can be.
- Copies of your driver's license(s). Please do not photo copy your license unless it is a colored photo copy. We find the easiest way to send a copy is to snap a picture of it with your smart phone and email or text it to us.
- Proof of income. You must make at least 3x the monthly rent (example: rent is $2000 a month, you must show that you make at least $6000 a month). The last two paystubs will be required. If you have direct deposit, copies of bank statements (you can white out account numbers)showing 2 months worth of income will be sufficient. If you are self employed, be prepared to show a tax return, 12 months of income, or money in the bank.
- Application. EVERY property has its own application. Sometimes they are the same, but most often they are not. You may be asked to fill out an application on line or paper. We will send you any applications or links you need to fill out. Each adult will likely have to fill an application out, even if you are married, unless otherwise stated on the application.
- You do not have to provide a letter of reference, but it is always a good idea to have a former landlord or a boss write you a nice letter, especially if you have poor credit or had a prior felony or eviction.
What if I want to pay a whole year upfront?
Typically we will need to come to a mutual agreement with the landlord, but it is not unheard of and we have done it before.
Rentals are difficult to negotiate as far as price. Because the market right now is high demand, landlords have the upper hand and know they can lease at full market value. We can ask for reductions for longer term leases, and typically it is $50 to $100 less per month. Other items we have negotiated are who pays for pool, gardening and/or pest control, appliances included or not included, furnished or unfurnished, etc.
Once I submit my application, how long does it take to find out.
Usually it takes 24-48 hours to find out. Landlords like to do their due diligence and run credit and background checks and also call prior landlords for references. If there are multiple applications, it can take longer. Do not be discouraged. Many factors including weekends, landlords who live in other states, and/or sudden emergencies can occur and it could take longer. We will keep you abreast of your application. Please do not call the listing agent. We are here to represent you and will make every effort to thoroughly communicate with you.
What happens once I am accepted?
Once your application is accepted a lease will be drawn up and signed by both the landlord, and you the tenant. The landlord will likely want an earnest deposit to take the listing off the market. An earnest deposit is used as good faith from you that you are going to lease the home by the specified date agreed upon. The earnest amount is applied and deducted from you total move in costs. It is not an additional fee. We do ask that you make a copy or take a picture of the earnest deposit and send it to us so we have it on file.
What do I do after I sign my lease?
The next thing you are going to want to do is contact all the utility companies and have them changed into your name and to begin on the day your lease starts. Here are the major companies, and we will let you know which ones you need to contact.
APS for electric. www.aps.com
SWG for gas. www.swgas.com
Water/Sewer/Trash www.cityofscottsdale.gov, www.cityofphoenix.gov, www.cityofglendale.gov, www.cityof peoria.gov, www.cityofcavecreek.gov
If you are interested in Cable/Internet, the two major companies are DirectTV or COX
After you call the utility companies, you will want to let us know a time you want to meet on move in day to get your keys, do a walk thru, and submit your final deposit. Please remember, a final deposit MUST be in the form of a cashiers check. We will let you know who to make it out to.
What if I have an issue with the house in the future?
We will provide you with the landlord or property manger's information prior to move in. Any future issues, they will be the one to contact directly.
Other questions and concerns
Q-I have a dog that is considered an aggressive breed. Is this going to be an issue?
A- We have found that no two landlords are alike. Some are animal lovers, some are not. Some will charge more for aggressive breeds, some will be happy to have the dog. Some will take the dogs, some will not. It is simply a case by case basis and we ALWAYS ask before we show you a home. There is no point in going to see a house where your pet is not welcome.
Q-I have an assistive pet, is this going to be a problem?
A- By law, a landlord cannot turn down registered assistive animal or charge a pet deposit.
Q-Is my earnest money refundable if I back out?
A-This will depend on the situation and the landlord. Again, this will be on a case by case basis.
Q-I have never lived in Arizona, I am not sure where I want to live or what's a good neighborhood. How do I find out?
A-We will thoroughly interview you before we take you out to see homes or send you homes via email. We address all concerns such as safety, neighborhoods, schools, distances to jobs and/or amenities, etc. Once you arrive, we encourage you to drive by all the neighborhoods or listings we have sent you to see if this is an area that will work for you.
Q- Do I need to change the locks on the doors?
A- Some landlords will do this as a courtesy before you move in. However, if you are concerned, we ask that you contact the landlord directly to see if they are okay with you changing the locks.
Q- What are some things I may have to pay for that are not part of the lease?
A-There are numerous things you may have to pay for. Here is a short list of possibilities.
- Trip charge for anything covered by a home warranty
- Community amenities
- Gate remotes (usually refundable at end of lease)
- HOA Fines
- Golf privileges
Q- I have my own appliances, can the landlord remove the ones at the home?
A- This is another case by case situation. They may want you to store theirs in the garage, they may remove them, they may not. This is something we would have to ask ahead of time.
Q-I make a lot of money, but I do not show it on paper. How can I prove to the landlord I can afford to pay the rent?
- There are a couple of things you can do. First, you can offer to pay several months upfront or the whole year. Second, you can have a prior landlord vouch that you have paid for a comparable property on time with no issues.
Q-My credit is very poor but I pay all my bills on time and I have great rental history. Is credit going to hurt my chances of getting a house?
A-The answer to this is yes and no. Some landlords have a minimum they will take such as no credit below 600. Others are not so concerned about credit as long as you have good rental history and good income. Credit can become and issue when there are multiple applications on a property. If you have poor credit, the landlord may chose an applicant with better credit, but it's strictly at the discretion of the landlord how he/she chooses their future tenant. If for some reason you do not get the home, we always ask why so that we know how to prepare for the next offer. It is also very helpful for us to know your credit situation before we begin looking for houses, that way we can make calls ahead of time to make sure it's not going to be an issue.
Q- We would like to buy a house after our lease is up, can you help us with that?
A- Yes! We believe in customer service in all aspects of real estate, whether you buy, sell or lease. Our goal is to establish a lifelong relationship with you and help you with will all your real estate needs.
Q-I have a house I own that I may want to sell or rent out, can you help me with that?
A-Yes! I can sell or lease your current home for you.
Q-Do we have to pay you for helping us find a lease?
A-No, the landlord pays us. However, since we spend hours researching homes for you and showing you homes, we would appreciate that you consider using only us as your agent.
Q- Shouldn't I just call the listing agent on a house I found on line or from a sign?
A- No, in actuality the listing agent represents the landlord. We would represent you, negotiate for you and protect your interest.
Q- You have been sending me homes for 3 months, and I am ready to come look at some of them, however, I noticed a lot of them are no longer in my portal, why not?
Homes go very quickly in the Phoenix area. We typically do not make the final list to show you until 24 hours before you arrive. We call the day before to make sure the home is still available and has no pending applications. It is not at all surprising to see a home lease in less than 24 hours. Also, remember, it is the landlords goal to lease the home as soon as possible so they do not lose a month's worth of rent. If you are more than 30-45 days out from leasing, it is too soon to be looking for a rental.