Rental activity in the Monroe NY and entire Orange County NY area continues to thrive. 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 process which will help you successfully find and rent a new home. (Note: This is a repost of information I shared a few years ago. There have been a few updates I needed to make.)
First, 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 do you want to pay per month? 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. If you don’t wish to use the sources above or have no luck finding your new home this way, you should 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 official MLS 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. With your agent, select several homes you’d like to see. Your real estate agent will set up the appointments, bring 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.
Once 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 be able to supply a recent credit report with scores. If you don’t have one, I can provide you with a credit report authorization form which will be processed the same day for a small fee ($15 for one person, $20 for two). Landlords will not accept any application unless it is accompanied by a credit report, so this is a critical part of the process. Some landlords put a lot of weight on having a high score, and some, not so much, but they all ask for it.
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 wish to contact your employer or former landlord for references. He/she may also want to obtain additional information, copies of paystubs, or other information. The landlord may renegotiate the terms as well. He/she 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. You should be able to review the lease prior to the meeting, and then a meeting is set up with the landlord, landlord’s agent, tenant, and tenant’s agent to review and sign the lease.
At lease signing, you will need to bring checks or money orders (depending upon the landlord requirements) to cover the following: 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 but typical fees are three months’ rent will be required at 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 appointment with a copy of the lease, other paperwork you may have had to sign during the process, such as a disclosure form and lead information form. But the most important thing you will leave with is a new home!
If you need assistance with rentals in the Monroe NY or Orange County NY area, please feel free to contact me at 914-419-0270. I’m happy to assist.