Renter FAQ - Rentsource
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Why go through a broker?
A: The typical broker’s fee of one month’s rent seems steep, but there’s some real benefits to going through an agency versus doing it yourself. Most landlords nowadays list with agencies exclusively and it’s the only way to secure their specific apartments. Since demand dictates that renters pay our fee most of the time, landlords are simply taking advantage of a free, professional service provided to them and rarely turn it down, which is why brokerages have such strong selections of listings. Apartments listed directly by the landlord can be no-fee gems, however, you’re at risk of being one of many applicants and having a landlord who may not procedurally handle applications, leases, and deposits correctly, leaving you at risk.
Q: What are your typical fees?
A: We usually charge a one month broker’s fee, unless it happens to be subsidized by either us or the landlord. If you’re renting between June and September you’re almost always going to have to pay the full fee since demand is high, but outside of those times it’s more common to find no or reduced fee rentals, although the selection is thinner. Additionally, we do charge a “second showing” fee of $50 (if you want to see the unit again after already viewing it) and a sub letter application fee of $100 (if you want to sub someone into your lease we’ll need to screen them for the landlord).
Q: What’s a typical apartment tour like with Rent Source?
A: Once we settle on some apartments to view, we’ll set a time and place to meet and drive you around to all of them. Prior to the tour, we’ll provide the listing information and approximate addresses, as well as our company policies so you’ll have everything you need to make it an enjoyable experience.
Q: Should I bring anything to the showings?
A: We’ll provide the showing information and legal disclosures, but we do encourage motivated apartment seekers to bring a checkbook in case you’d like to reserve a unit after seeing it.
Q: How do I know if I financially qualify for an apartment?
A: One of the most significant aspects in the approval process is making sure you’re “qualified.” This refers to your financials, and means your total yearly rent shouldn’t exceed 1/3 of your total income and savings. For example, if you make $60,000 a year, your total yearly rent shouldn’t exceed $20,000, meaning that your max rent per month is $20,000/12 = $1,666. Please note this is your individual portion of rent and if you don’t qualify you almost always have the option of using a co-signer.
Q: Can you help customers buy and sell, too?
A: We’re a fully licensed brokerage so can engage in any and all real estate transactions. While we’re mostly rental based, we do have sales experience to assist with a potential purchase or sale. We prefer to work with investors, so if you’re looking for a personal property we can refer you to some great residential salespeople in the area if they would be a better fit.