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FAQ

Thank you for your interest in Rent-A-Home of the Triad! Please use the convenient links below to skip to the Frequently Asked Questions that apply to you:

 

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FAQs

CURRENT TENNANT FAQs

PROSPECTIVE TENNANT FAQs

 

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FAQs

 

Why use Rent-A-Home?

Finding the right tenant for your house is important and keeping up with your responsibilities as landlord equally so. Rent-A-Home's application process helps identify whether an applicant is a good fit for your property, and our marketing strategies help grab their attention. If you use our management services, Rent-A-Home will handle rent collection and maintenance requests, removing some of the stress of keeping up with a property.

 

How does Rent-A-Home advertise my property?

With 25 years of property management experience, Rent-A-Home knows how to successfully market your property. Our website provides prospective tenants with detailed information about your property, including:

  • Market competitive rent;
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms;
  • Amenities; and
  • Exterior and interior pictures.

In addition to placing your property on our website, our property management software will post the same information to Craigslist, Zillow, and other property listing services. This ensures maximum exposure for your property. Prospective tenants may also call our office and speak with a showing agent or representative for additional information.

Although more than 75% of our applicants are referred through our site, Rent-A-Home still engages in traditional rental marketing and places a “For Rent” sign prominently in your yard (if applicable).

 

How does Rent-A-Home show my property?

Rent-A-Home provides a unique service for owners in our marketing and management programs by sending our agents to personally show your property. 

Other property management companies in the Triad utilize a key deposit system, where the prospective tenant picks up a key and views the house with no one to answer questions and no supervision.

Rent-A-Home schedules showings of your property with prospective tenants to make sure all questions are answered at every viewing. Any interested parties are provided with an application on the spot. Furthermore, you can speak with the agent who showed your property to ask how the showing went and whether they have any recommendations to help the property show better. Communication is essential to successfully renting your property.

 

What does your application process consist of?

Whether you choose our property management or marketing program, the most important aspect of renting your property is finding a good tenant. Rent-A-Home's application process provides the owner with as much information as possible by running a credit check, criminal check, and rental reference check, as well as requiring proof of income and acceptable forms of identification.

  • Credit check: Our property management software runs a prospective tenant’s information through Experian, a recognized leader in the credit industry. You will be notified of their score and given advice from our applications specialist about what their score indicates.
  • Criminal check: Every prospective tenant has their criminal background checked through our application process. Our applications specialist will notify you if the prospective tenant has a criminal background and if so, what charges are listed on it.
  • Eviction history: A new database provided through our property management software can show whether a prospective tenant has previously been evicted from a property. If any prior evictions appear on their report, you will be notified of the number of evictions on their history and date of evictions. Please note that not all prospective tenants will be included in this database and that the lack of an eviction history does not mean the prospective tenant has never been evicted.
  • Rental references: Sometimes the easiest way to determine whether a prospective tenant is right for you is hearing from their previous landlord. Rent-A-Home requests all applicants to provide the name and number of their landlord(s) over the previous two years. Our application specialist contacts the previous landlord(s) to determine whether the tenant paid timely, the condition the property was left in at the time it was vacated, and ask other questions pertaining to their viability.
  • Income verification: Rent-A-Home requires our applicants to make at least three times the monthly rent in order to qualify for the property. By requesting proof of income, our office verifies the tenants will be able to afford to pay the rent barring a change in their circumstances.

 

Who determines whether an applicant is qualified?

You do. Rent-A-Home will never approve an application without the consent of an owner, nor will we push you into choosing an applicant. We simply provide you with the best information available to make your decision. Although we are happy to provide our advice and input into your selection, you have final say over who rents your property.

 

What is the North Carolina Residential Rental Contract?

The North Carolina Board of Realtors, in collaboration with the North Carolina Bar Association, created a default lease agreement called the Residential Rental Contract. This is the contract all applicants sign. This contract explains rights and responsibilities in great detail. A sample copy of this document can be found here.

 

What is required of a tenant at the time they sign the Residential Rental Contract?

The tenant is required to pay their security deposit in certified funds when the Residential Rental Contract is signed. After the contract is signed and the deposit paid, the property will be taken off the market for rent and our sign will be taken down. You will be notified after the tenant comes in to sign and pay their deposit. If the tenant intends to move in on the same day as the signing, they must also pay their pro-rated rent in certified funds to pick up keys.

 

How does Rent-A-Home digitally document the condition of my property?

Owners using our property management service will have a Rent-A-Home employee go out to your property prior to tenant move-in and perform a detailed inspection of the current condition of the property. Pictures will be taken of each room and of any noticeable damages and stored in Rent-A-Home’s archives.

After the tenant turns in keys, an employee goes back out to the property to perform a move-out inspection. Pictures of each room and any damages are taken at that time. Our office then compares the two inspections to determine if there were any tenant damages beyond normal wear and tear during their occupancy.

 

Will Rent-A-Home inspect my property?

Rent-A-Home will inspect properties annually at a minimum. If we have reason to believe there are problems or other issues at the property, we inspect accordingly. We attempt to be as mindful as possible of the tenant’s privacy during an inspection and generally will not take interior pictures unless a serious issue exists at the property. The employee performing the inspection notes the general condition of the floors, walls, and exterior of the property.

 

How does Rent-A-Home disburse tenant rent payments?

Rent-A-Home usually disburses rent payments once a month after all rent has been collected. If you have signed up for direct deposit your payment will be disbursed into your selected account; otherwise, our office will mail you a check. Generally, disbursements are made within 5 business days of receipt of payment; however, this time may vary depending on the method of tenant payment and bank holidays.

Because tenants may pay late or pay partially during any given month, Rent-A-Home cannot guarantee disbursement will be made by a specific date. However, Rent-A-Home will work diligently to disburse your payment after it is received.

 

What happens if my tenant pays late?

Rent is due on the 1st and a late fee may be charged after the 6th of the month. If the tenant does not pay by the 6th they are sent a late fee letter and charged of 5% of the monthly rent or $15.00, whichever is greater. They are notified that they have until the end of the day on the 10th to pay or make acceptable payment arrangements. An employee will notify you of the delinquency and whether the tenant has set up a date to pay.

If the tenant fails to pay or make payment arrangements by the end of the day on the 10th, our office files summary ejectment (eviction) papers unless we are notified by you to do otherwise.

 

How does the eviction process work?

Under North Carolina law, a property management company may appear in small claims court for a summary ejectment action if the company is managing the property for the owner. Although there is no set timeline for an eviction proceeding, a hearing is usually set within 10 – 14 business days of filing with the court. If, after the hearing, the court decides in favor of the property owner, then the tenants shall have 10 days to vacate or make acceptable payment arrangements. 

If the tenant fails to make acceptable payment arrangements or vacate within the 10 day period, a writ of possession may be filed to have the sheriff remove the tenant from the premises. The sheriff will set up a time and date to perform the padlocking, and a Rent-A-Home employee and locksmith will meet the sheriff at the premises to change the locks at that time.

Please note that this is the only lawfully prescribed method to evict a tenant in the state of North Carolina.

 

How does Rent-A-Home handle maintenance issues?

Part of our property management responsibilities includes oversight of repair requests. When a tenant calls in with a repair request our office contacts a vendor to fix the issue. If the estimated repair cost is greater than $500.00, our office will contact you for approval before the work is performed.

As owner, you are responsible for the cost of repairs at the property. If you prefer to have complete oversight over all repairs, Rent-A-Home strongly recommends using its marketing program.

 

What happens if the tenant breaks something at the property?

If Rent-A-Home determines the tenant is responsible for the cost of a repair at the property, the invoice will be added to their account balance. However, vendors must be paid promptly for work performed. Therefore you may see a deduction from your usual rent intake even if the tenant is responsible for the cost of the repair if the tenant does not promptly pay the invoice.

 

I have a home warranty that covers the cost of some repairs. Will you contact them prior to making repairs?

If possible, Rent-A-Home will contact your home warranty provider prior to repairs being performed. However, some repairs require immediate action (such as no heat). In these circumstances it may not be possible to contact your home warranty provider first.

 

Pricing?

For marketing services, Rent-A-Home charges you a fee equal to one month’s rent at the property. This is paid at the time the property is leased, no upfront cost is required.  For property management services, Rent-A-Home charges you a fee equal to one half of one month’s rent, then 10% of the monthly rent each month the property is being managed.

 

Will Rent-A-Home manage a property that is currently tenant occupied?

Rent-A-Home offers property management services to owners of vacant and occupied properties and would be happy to discuss managing your tenant occupied property.

 

CURRENT TENANT FAQs

 

What are your office hours?

Our office is open Monday - Friday from 9:00 - 5:30.

 

When is rent due?

Rent is due on the 1st of the month and considered late on the 2nd. A late fee will apply if rent is not paid in full by the end of the day on the 6th of the month. The late fee is equal to $15.00 or 5% of one month's rent, whichever is greater. 

For our tenants who prefer to send checks through the mail, please note that rent is considered received on the date it arrives at our office, not on the date it was sent.

 

What forms of payment are accepted?

Tenants can pay by check, money order, cashier's check or via online payment. Our office does not accept credit cards and cannot accept payment over the phone.

To sign up for online payment, contact our office at (336) 272-0767 or email us here.

 

I paid online and received confirmation of payment, but the money hasn't come out of my account yet. Why?

Online payments take 3 to 4 business days to be processed by your bank after submission (similar to a personal check). Therefore you may not see the money come out of your account until 3 to 4 business days after payment.

 

Can I pay rent in advance?

Yes, you may pay rent prior to the 1st of the month and may pay for multiple months of rent in advance.

 

What happens if I do not pay my rent by the end of the day on the 6th?

If you do not pay your rent by the end of the day on the 6th, a late fee is charged to your account and you must pay or make acceptable payment arrangements by the 10th.

 

What happens if I do not pay my rent and late fee by the end of the day on the 10th?

If you do not pay your rent and late fee by the 10th and do not make acceptable payment arrangements, our office will begin summary ejectment proceedings against you.

 

Can I use my security deposit to cover the cost of rent for a month?

If you do not pay your rent and late fee by the 10th and do not make acceptable payment arrangements, our office will begin summary ejectment proceedings against you.

 

What happens if my personal check or online payment comes back NSF (non sufficient funds)?

If your check or online payment bounces, our accounting department will notify you and place you on a certified funds only status. You must then pay the outstanding amount in certified funds by the date provided in the notification letter. 

Please note that after two bounced payments you will be placed on a certified funds only basis indefinitely.

 

How do I put in a repair request?

For non-emergency requests during business hours, use the tenant portal.  If you do not have a login, email info@rentahomeasheville and we can set you up.

For emergency requests during business hours, call the office immediately. Our online maintenance request form requires 24 hours to be processed.

For emergency requests after business hours, please call the number on the After Hours Emergency Number form provided to you at the time of move-in.

 

How does the maintenance process work?

Upon receipt of your request, our office contacts the appropriate vendor to provide them with your name and contact information. The vendor will then contact you to set up a time to perform the work. Generally, you will not need to be present when maintenance work is performed.

If the vendor cannot reach you, they will leave you a message and you will need to call them back. Be sure to get in contact with the vendor. Otherwise, they may not be able to perform the needed maintenance.

 

Can I perform repair work myself? Will I be reimbursed for the cost of any repair work performed?

No. Neither the owner or Rent-A-Home will reimburse you for unauthorized repairs.

 

I was charged back for the cost of a repair. Why?

If a repair is necessitated because of a tenant's intentional or negligent conduct, the cost of the repair is charged to them. If a repair is charged back, the tenant will receive a copy of the invoice and explanation of the charge.

Rent-A-Home does not determine the cost of performing maintenance work. Any issues with the price of a charge back should be brought up with the vendor directly. The number of the vendor who performed the work is available on the invoice.

 

Do I need to perform a move-in inspection / walkthrough?

Under your lease agreement, you have 10 days to fill out and return a move-in inspection form to our office. Although you are not required to fill this out, Rent-A-Home strongly recommends all tenants take the time at move in to note the condition of the property, including the exterior. Additionally, Rent-A-Home encourages tenants to take pictures of the interior during this 10 day period.

 

I saw something requiring maintenance when I moved in. If I put it on my move in inspection form, will it be repaired?

No. The move in inspection form is for documentation purposes only. To place a repair request, please call or email our office.

 

May I move in earlier / later than my originally scheduled move in date?

Generally no. Rent-A-Home confirms your original move in date at the time of lease signing to ensure all necessary work is performed prior to move in. In some cases Rent-A-Home may be able to accommodate an earlier move in date. Please note you will be responsible for pro-rated rent during those days.

 

Can I pick up keys to the property before my scheduled move in date?

No. If you would like to go out to the property to take measurements, please contact our office so we may have a representative meet you at the property.

 

When do I need to have utilities turned on in my name?

If you are responsible for utilities under the terms of your lease agreement, please have these transferred into your name on the day of your move in. You may contact utility companies at any time prior to move in to request transfer of service. If you have just moved in and are having issues with heating, please be sure you have the appropriate utility put on in your name before calling in a repair request.

 

How do you calculate pro-rated rent?

The standard for calculating pro-rated rent is taking the monthly rent and dividing it by 30 days (regardless of the number of days in the current month), then multiplying it by the number of days you will be at the property that month. For example, 10 days of pro-rated rent for a house renting at $900.00 per month would be $300.00 (900 / 30 * 10 = 300).

 

How much notice is required before move out?

Your lease requires you to give at least 30 days notice in writing of your intent to vacate the property. You will be responsible for paying rent during that 30 day period. Please note that notice must be received in writing and cannot be given over the phone. Rent-A-Home will confirm receipt of your notice by sending a standard move-out letter to you.

 

What happens if I do not give a full 30 day notice?

Regardless of the date you turn in keys, you are responsible for 30 days of rent payment from the date your notice is received. If this is not paid it will be deducted from your deposit at the time of move out.

 

What happens if I move out before the end of my lease?

If you move out before your lease ends you will be responsible for payment of rent until the end of the lease term or until the property is re-rented, whichever is sooner. Additionally, you will be responsible for a re-leasing fee equal to one half of one month's rent. Your deposit would be returned to you within 30 days of the property being re-rented or end of the lease term, whichever is sooner, minus any charges.

 

What do I need to do before move out?

A sample letter detailing instructions for move out can be found here.

 

What happens if I do not turn in keys?

Turning in keys signifies surrender of possession of the property and begins the security deposit reconciliation process. If you do not turn in keys you will be charged pro-rated rent for each day keys are not turned in.

 

Can I go back into the property after turning in keys?

No. Please be sure that all personal belongings are removed from the property prior to key turn in. For more information, read the Security Deposit FAQ.

 

What is the process for return of the security deposit?

A move-out inspection takes place within 2 business days of when you turn in keys. During the inspection, Rent-A-Home assesses the condition of the property. We do not conduct move-out inspections with tenants present. We welcome you to take pictures or make notes prior to move-out.

In most circumstances, your deposit will be mailed to your forwarding address within 30 days from the date on which you turned in keys. A written accounting of charges made will be provided. If your deposit does not cover the amount of damage done to the property you will be responsible for payment of the remaining balance. 

If Rent-A-Home has not received all invoices for work done at the property within 30 days, an interim accounting letter will be sent listing current charges against your deposit. A final accounting would be sent no later than 30 days after the date of the interim accounting.

The North Carolina Tenant Security Deposit Act may be found here.

 

Does having the house professionally cleaned or treated prior to move-out guarantee charges for these services will not be made against my deposit?

No. Rent-A-Home determines what work must be done after the move-out inspection. If the professional services have not rectified the issue your deposit may still be charged.

 

Will you notify me what charges have been made against my deposit before sending the final accounting letter?

No. Please do not contact our office concerning the status of your deposit if it has not been 30 days from your key turn in date.

 

Will you look at my move-in inspection form before making charges against the deposit?

Yes. If you provided our office with a move-in inspection form we will review it prior to determining charges. We will also review our move in pictures and notes.

 

Can I come back and do more clean up after moving out?

No. Cleaning must be done prior to turning in keys.

 

What happens if I leave personal property behind?

If any personal property remains after you vacate it will be thrown away and a hauling fee will be charged against your deposit. Do not assume that leaving belongings behind is beneficial to the owner or future tenant. You will not receive any reimbursement for items left behind.

 

May I pick up the deposit from Rent-A-Home's office?

If you would like to pick up the deposit from the office please note that on your key turn in form.

 

It's been more than 30 days and I haven't received an interim or final accounting of my deposit. What should I do?

Please call our office to determine the status of the deposit. If you did not provide us with a forwarding address then receipt of the deposit may be delayed.

 

I found out my forwarding address was incorrect after the deposit was sent out. What should I do?

If you provided our office with an incorrect forwarding address, we will wait two weeks to see if the final accounting is delivered to you or returned to us. If the deposit is not received by that time there will be a stop check fee charged and the check will be re-issued.

 

Can I use my deposit to cover my last month's rent?

No. You must pay rent timely or you will be charged a late fee.

 

How do I dispute a charge against my deposit?

To dispute charges against your deposit you must submit, in writing, a list of the charged disputed along with any explanation or evidence why you believe those charges should not have been made. Upon receipt of your notice Rent-A-Home will review the charge and notify you within 7 business days of its final determination.

 

PROSPECTIVE TENNANT FAQs

 

What are your office hours?

Rent-A-Home is open from 9:00 - 5:30 Mon. - Fri. Our agents show properties from 9:30 - 5:00 Mon. - Fri.

 

How does the application process work?

Rent-A-Home's application process is straightforward. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Find a property that interests you through our vacancy listing.
  2. Drive by the property to familiarize yourself with the neighborhood and surrounding area.
  3. Call our office to set up a tour of the property with an agent. We do not hand out keys. Same day showings are not usually possible, so please call in advance that we may accommodate your schedule.
  4. Submit a rental application. The application is $50 per applicant age 18 and over, and $50 per co-singer. Please allow 2 to 3 business days to process the application.
  5. If approved by the Property Owner, we will set up an appointment for you to sign leases and pay your deposit.
  6. After you sign leases, simply come into the office on your move in date to pick up keys.

 

What do I need in order to qualify?

You must make at least three times the monthly rent in order to qualify. Rent-A-Home requires proof of income from all interested applicants. Rent-A-Home will consider supplemental forms of income such as student loans, social security, etc.

 

What else do you check on your application?

Rent-A-Home requires all applicants to consent to a credit check, criminal check, and rental reference check. Additionally, Rent-A-Home's property management software checks for prior collections / evictions.

 

How long does it take to process an application?

Generally, our office processes applications within 2-3 business days of receiving all information from the applicant and the application fee. Our office cannot begin processing an application until the application fee has been paid.

In some circumstances, there will be more than one applicant interested in a property. In these circumstances all applicants need to wait until each application is processed and presented to the owner of the property.

 

I have bad / no credit. Will I still be able to qualify for the property?

The owner of the property you apply for ultimately determines whether your application is approved or turned down; Rent-A-Home cannot guarantee approval or disapproval based on credit history. We present all relevant information to the owner after your application is submitted.

 

What type of deposit is required?

Unless otherwise noted, the deposit is usually equal to one month's rent. The deposit must be paid in certified funds at the time the lease agreement is signed.

 

Do you accept pets?

Pets are negotiable with payment of a pet deposit or fee unless otherwise noted on the property listing. The deposit / fee will vary according to the age, number, and type(s) of pet at the property. Rent-A-Home does not accept aggressive breeds of dogs at any property.

 

Do you accept Section 8 vouchers?

Rent-A-Home does not accept Section 8 vouchers at this time.

 

Is rent negotiable?

Generally, rent is non-negotiable. In limited circumstances the owner may be willing to negotiate rent after an application is received; however, neither Rent-A-Home nor the owner are obligated to negotiate on the rent after receiving an application. Please note that rent will not be negotiated prior to submission of an application.

 

When should I start looking for properties?

We recommend you begin your search about 30 days before your expected move date. Rent-A-Home can only hold properties for up to 30 days even with payment of a deposit. Be sure to call our office at least a day in advance to set up a showing, and several days in advance if requesting a showing on the weekend.

 

When do you show properties?

We show properties Monday-Friday from 9:30-5:00. Each showing lasts, at most, 15 minutes, so please be sure to arrive on time for a full tour of the property.

 

How do I set up a showing?

To set up a showing, please call our office at (828) 676-6764. Same day showings are not usually possible, so please call our office at least 24 hours before your desired showing time. If you would like to see multiple properties on the same day, we recommend calling 72 hours in advance.

 

Do I have to see the inside of a property before applying?

Although you may apply for a property before seeing its interior, Rent-A-Home will not process an application until you see the property from the inside in person.

If you are moving to Asheville from out of country or out of state and cannot see the property in person, you may have a friend or family member see the property on your behalf.

 

 

 

 

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