Home Rental Process in Orange County, NY

There is quite a bit of rental activity going on in the Orange County NY area.  Many renters haven’t rented in a while, or may be first-time renters and I thought it was a great time to share the Orange County NY process which can help you successfully find and rent a new home.

for rentFirst, decide what your requirements are for your new rental home.  Do you need a garage?  A driveway?  Do you have pets?  How many bedrooms or bathrooms would you like?  What school district or area would you like to live in?  How much can you afford to pay?  Do you want a yard?

Once you’ve decided what you’d like, decide what source you want to use for your rental hunt.  You can check sources such as Craig’s List or local papers and other online sources.  If you choose this method, be very careful of scams.  If someone responds and says they are on an assignment in a foreign country and you need to send personal information in order for them to send you the keys, do not respond.  This typically happens when the price is just too good to be true.  In that case, it’s usually not true.   If you don’t wish to use the sources above or have no luck finding your new home, you can also call a real estate agent who works with renters.  Your agent will discuss your needs with you, and will search for available homes that are listed in real estate systems that fit your needs.

Probably the easiest part of the entire process, as long as you don’t have incredibly unique requirements, is to find the home you like.  Select several homes you’d like to see, and your real estate agent will set up the appointments, meet you there, and show the homes to you.  Hopefully, you’ll find one on the first outing that you like, but if not, additional tours might be required. 

checklistOnce you find the home you want, your agent will help you determine what to offer.  You can negotiate on a rental, similar to a home purchase.  If the price is not market based, a different rental price can be offered.  If the home needs to be painted, or repaired, or other work needs to occur, you can make that part of the offer.  But, before your agent actually makes the offer, you have work to do!

First, you must fill out acredit report authorization form which will be processed by the real estate company.  This credit form must be accompanied by a personal check or money order (at the time of this writing, the amount is $15 for one person and $20 for two).  It’s important to note that landlords will not accept any offer unless it is accompanied by a credit report, so this is a critical part of the process.  The turnaround time for the reports, at least in my company, is a few hours, so we typically have results quite soon after we submit the form.

At the same time, you must fill out the application.  This is a two-page form that asks for information such as your current address, job and salary, as well as contact information for your current and previous landlords.  Once the credit report and the application are completed, your agent can make the offer to the landlord’s agent. 

The deal is then with the landlord.  The landlord may then wish to contact your employer or former landlord for references.  The landlord may renegotiate the terms as well.  They may wish to meet with you or interview your pets (yes, this is indeed possible).  Once there is an agreed upon offer, you will be notified that the home will be yours and then a meeting is set up with the landlord, landlord’s agent, tenant, and tenant’s agent to review and sign the lease.

money being handed overAt lease signing, you will need to bring checks or money orders (depending upon the landlord requirements).  You will need to pay for one months’ rent, one months’ security, and one months’ rent for agent fees.  You may also need to pay for pet security if appropriate and the landlord may require more than one month’s security.  Bottom line, you typically would have to bring checks for three months’ rent to the lease signing.  

After the lease is signed and the payments are accepted, you will hold out your hand, and the keys will be handed to you, and you can plan your move!   You will leave the lease signing with a copy of the lease, other paperwork you may have had to sign during the process, such as a disclosure form, lead information form, and other paperwork.  But the most important thing you will leave with is a new home!

If you need assistance with rentals in the Orange County NY area, please feel free to contact me!

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