Rental Process

What is required?

I can help you through the rental process.

Cindy Nelson -

Cynthia Nelson

There are benefits I can offer you as a real estate agent when finding a rental home.  Here are a few things I can do for you to help make the rental process easier for you:

  1. I'll provide you with a customized list of rentals.  There's no need to search through a list unless the homes fit your criteria.  If you want a pet-friendly home, a pool, specific square footage, # of bedrooms or bathrooms, in a particular city etc., I can create a list to fit your needs.
  2. Provide you with access to NEW LISTINGS when they hit the market. In today's rental market, you'll miss out on the home you want if you're not the first to view it and submit an application.  I can set up a personalized subscription so you receive an automatic email when a new listing is added that fits your criteria.
  3. Once you find a home you like, I can take you inside so you can view the home.
  4. I'll also walk you through the paperwork that is required when you are ready to submit an application.
  5. Once your plans are in place, I will give you access to a free online moving concierge to help you streamline your move.

Before you start looking

You'll need to have a few items ready beforehand, so be prepared.  Here's what's typically required:

  • Completed Application  Every person 18 years or older, including any guarantors or co-signers, must complete a separate application.  I can email you a standard Application for Occupancy to complete in advance.  This will help expedite the process once you find a rental that you like.  Not every homeowner or property manager accepts this form.  If they don't, at least you'll have the information you need readily available.
  • Proof of income  A month's worth of paystubs is usually required. If you get paid monthly, the owner may want to see 2 or 3 months of paystubs. If you are self-employed, you'll need to provide 2-3 copies (or possibly more) of your bank statements or possibly a current tax return.  To qualify, you generally need a total household income of 2.5 or 3 times the rent.
  • Application fees are usually around $35-$50 for every person 18 years and over.  This fee will cover your credit and background checks.  Most of the time the listing agent will email you a link so you can complete this process online, including the payment.
  • Earnest deposit may be required.  The homeowner or property manager will hold this deposit until you sign your lease agreement.  Once you sign your lease agreement, the earnest money will be applied towards your initial move-in costs such as your security deposit.  If you change your mind and do not sign the lease, then you will lose some or all of your earnest deposit.
  • Pets are only accepted upon lessor's approval, with the exception of service animals.  Please indicate the breed, weight and if it is spayed or neutered.  If it is a cat, indicate whether it has been declawed. Pets are subject to additional deposits and/or fees.

Fees & Deposits

Once you're approved, be prepared to pay the following:

  • First month's rent  First month's rent + tax is due when you sign your lease.  It's possible the landlord may pro-rate a partial month. Your written lease will define the amount due.
  • Fees/Deposits  Expect to pay a security deposit which usually ranges from 1 - 1.5 times the monthly rent.  Additional fees/deposits may also be needed depending on your lease.  This may include fees/deposits for cleaning and pets.
  • Utilities  You will be responsible for setting up accounts for any utilities you are responsible for.  This may include water/sewage/garbage and electricity.  If you decide you want internet or cable/satellite TV, then you need to set those up too.  HOA fees are typically paid by the landlord , but check your lease agreement to confirm this.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

  • How far in advance should the rental search start?  Keep in mind, most tenants give notification to vacate 30-45 days prior to moving out,  so a rental may not be listed on the market until that time.  If I start your email subscription about 3 months prior to your preferred lease start date, you'll get familiar with the rental market.  As rentals are added to the market, you'll receive an email alert which will include the date the rental is available.
  • How long will a landlord/homeowner/property manager hold a rental before I am required to start paying rent?  It depends as it is completely up to the discretion of the homeowner or property management company. Typically, most will not hold a rental longer than 2 weeks before requiring the lease to start.  If you're trying to time it with your move from your current residence, you may have to start your lease early.  Keep in mind, if there are multiple rental applications submitted, there is a chance you could lose out to another applicant if they are able to start the lease sooner.
  • What credit score is required to qualify?  A credit score of 600 or higher for each applicant is typically required.  580 is usually the lowest, but on occasion, exceptions are made.  If your score is low, be prepared to explain the reason why.   If you have no idea what your credit score is, I suggest obtaining a free credit score from just so you have some idea.  Otherwise, you may end up spending money on application fees only to find out your score is too low to begin with.

May 2019 - Median Rental Rates

Gilbert, AZ
Chandler, AZ
Mesa, AZ