Frequently Asked Tenant Questions
Welcome to our family of tenants! We want you to enjoy your stay with us. We have designed a communication program to help us work together in partnership. In today’s fast moving world we think it is important to give you the tools to communicate with us at your convenience – not just ours. From this website, you can let us know about maintenance issues you might have at any time or even pay your rent from the comfort of your living room. Rental payments are accepted at our office on Park Street, either in person or via mail, or you can pay via the web from this website.
By: Christina Starmer, Instant Tenant-Instant Landlord
So you are about to rent the apartment of your dreams. But before you take the keys, you will be asked to sign on the bottom line. Not so fast Sparky! Below are a few items, that you might actually want in your lease if you don’t find them during your initial run-through. (Extra Tip! Ask to get a copy of the lease prior to signing so you can review it and read over 24 hours before signing).
Who is responsible for an appliance repair if the appliance simply breaks because of ordinary wear and tear? Is there a co-pay on the tenant’s part and if so, when do they pay?
Is renter’s insurance required? This one does not have to be in the lease, but it may be well worth the money to get.
When renting a house, it is often the responsibility of the tenant to maintain the lawn. If it’s not spelled out in the lease already, be sure you get it in there. And if you are responsible, be specific as to what you are expected to do. For instance, a typical resident will mow and blow when needed (approximately every two weeks). But some “tenant maintains the lawn” clauses presumes the tenant will be mowing, blowing, edging, mulching, weeding and possibly trimming hedges.
Painting and basic picture holes:
Typical wear and tear should not be taken out of your deposit at the lease end date, but you can bet your bottom dollar that walls or those full of nail holes will be assessed for charges. If you want to paint an accent wall or the whole place, get it spelled out in the initial lease. Know what it is that you are and are not allowed to do.
This is no laughing matter. If you move in a duplex and one month later, a bunch of roaches, ants or spiders start to show up, who is responsible? Or what if you get eaten up by fleas every time you walk through the lawn, but you don’t even own a dog? Even wasp nests have a tendency to show themselves under the eaves and corners of homes in the summer. Will you be removing them? Will your landlord?
Basically, it comes down to the fine print. When entering into any contract, be sure to pay close attention to the details. As it never fails that something left out will cause one of the signing parties to say “I just assumed…” And that almost never has a good outcome for the tenant.
As a general rule, an emergency is anything relating to the property under lease that is threatening to life, health or the property and cannot wait until the next business day to be addressed.
The following guidelines will assist as to what constitutes as a maintenance emergency:
This will be considered an emergency only when the toilet clogged is the only toilet in property and the resident has made every effort to clear the stoppage themselves. Upon submitting your maintenance request, either emergency or not, turn off the water valve behind the toilet to prevent further over flow or flooding.
This is considered a maintenance emergency. Turn off the water valve that is associated with the broken pipe or the exterior water main until our maintenance professional arrives. Do everything within your reasonable power to contain the leak to prevent flood damage.
No Hot Water:
This will be considered an emergency only if there has been no hot water for at least 12 hours. Typically this will be handled in a timely manner during normal business hours.
This constitutes an emergency only if the outside temperature is falling below 50 degrees. Before reporting this as an emergency, please check all fuses and circuit breakers.
This will be considered an emergency only if the outside temperature is above 89 degrees and in the summer. Normally this will be handled in a timely manner during normal business hours.
This constitutes an emergency. If you suspect leaking gas, turn off the gas appliance(s) and the gas supply to that appliance immediately. The shut off handle should be relatively easy to find on the supply line. Call your gas provider and our office to report the situation right away. Check to see if there is a danger of using a phone where there is a gas leak.
Broken Doorknob, Lock, or Window:
If it prevents the resident from properly securing the property, it is considered an emergency. If it’s determined that temporary measures can be taken until normal business hours, please do so and contact Rental Partners the following business day. Do not jeopardize you safety.
Rental Partners is not responsible for furnishing keys to residents who have locked themselves out of their home and this will not be considered an emergency. It is the resident’s responsibility and obligation to ensure we are provided a copy of the new key.
This will be considered an emergency only if the electricity is out in the entire property and the resident have checked with the local electric company to confirm there is not an area outage; the circuit breaker has been checked and reset along with checking the fuses. Partial electrical outages do not constitute a true emergency and will be addressed in a timely manner during normal business hours. If an outlet begins to smoke or it smells like something is burning, turn off the circuit breaker and contact us right away. Leave the circuit breaker off until our maintenance professional arrives.
The following maintenance issues are not generally considered emergencies and will be addressed the following business day at top priority:
- Appliances not working
- Clogged garbage disposal
- Roof leaks (steps should be taken to minimize damage and loss)
- If you are experiencing a situation that was not mentioned above and seems immediately dangerous, damaging or detrimental, please call our office to report the emergency without delay.
ISSUED APPOINTMENTS AND NEGLECT
The resident is responsible for the payment of any invoice for which the repair was made for damage, etc. caused by their misuse or neglect. The tech will report this information to management. The resident is also responsible for the payment of any service call charged by a vendor for a missed appointment. Please remember Residents are responsible for moving any personal items a sufficient distance away from the area to be repaired or item/equipment to be serviced. Rental Partners Leasing Solutions and/or our maintenance professionals will not move personal items and are not liable for any damage incurred from this policy not being abided by. Although your request may constitute an emergency, Rental Partners reserves the right to postpone or reschedule repair due to acts of god, forces of nature, emergency closures for safety or any other acts beyond our control.
Our company manages residential properties ranging from $500 per month to $3500 per month. Our residential properties include single-family homes, duplexes, apartments, small to medium apartment communities, condominiums and penthouses.
We manage properties in the Duval county, Clay County and St Johns County area of Jacksonville, Florida.
Our office is at 2099 Park Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32204
Our office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, our agents are available at any time and appointments are scheduled individually for showings.
From the home page, click on Available Rentals. This accesses a fully searchable list of our available rental properties. By clicking on the thumbnail photo, you can enlarge the photo and see additional information on the property. The property page is also printable as a flyer.
We try to provide detailed information on our web page and on the available property handouts. This should include about 12 photos of the property, the address, rental rate, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, type of heat and air as well as which utilities are provided. If there is a restriction against pets, it is often, but not always reflected on the web page. The web page and printed list of available properties are generally your best source of information on the properties. The individual agent’s phone number and contact information is provided as well so you can book a viewing quickly. You can always call our office at 904-701-3276904-701-3276
Typically the properties on our web site or list of available properties are immediately available. Sometimes we may begin marketing a property before the previous resident has moved or before it is available for rent. In such cases, we try to note the available date on the property information. We strive to keep our web page updated daily so generally rented properties are removed within 24 hours.
The nature of our business is that we often experience a very high call volume. We regret the inconvenience that reaching voicemail may cause you. Please do leave a voicemail on the appropriate line and we will return your call in a timely manner. For the convenience of our customers and clients, each member of our staff has a direct phone line and a direct email address. This is the most efficient way for you to reach the party you need. Typically, our customers and clients know the name of the Property Managers and Customer Service Representatives who directly handle a specific property. We request that you make every effort to use these direct contact lines to contact our staff. If you call through our main lines each staff member also has a direct extension. We hope the use of email and of our direct phone lines will make your customer service experience with Rental Partners as smooth and efficient as possible.
Our company generally manages non-furnished properties. However, from time to time we may offer a furnished home, apartment or condominium.
We do manage a number of homes and apartments for which a Section 8 voucher may be used. This is a homeowner’s choice. You may check the Section 8 Accepted Option on the Residential Listings page or come into our office for a list of Section 8 properties.
Great! We were hoping you would ask. Step One is to please make sure you have seen the property you are interested in. We do not lease properties which have not been viewed by the prospective tenant unless there are special circumstances involved. Step Two is to fill out an application and give your leasing agent the binder in the form of a cashier’s check or money order (no cash accepted please). Our Applications are done at www.rentalpartners.com or you can fill one out in our office. Just let your leasing agent know. Step Three is to see if you were approved (our agent can usually tell you within 24 hours). Then it’s document time. Your personal leasing agent will provide you a list/form with everything that he/she will need prior to the completion of your application. Step Four is that we will be checking your Credit and Criminal Reports and verifying your income and rental references. Our Credit and Criminal Report checking service is very fast. The delay in processing an application nearly always comes from delays in your employer or income source verifying income and of previous landlords/property managers verifying your rental reference. Due to these delays, it can often take up to 3 business days to approve or deny a Rental Application.
24 to 48 hours
What Will Rental Partners Need From Me In The Next Few Days Following The Approval of My Application?
Copy of two pay check stubs or W-2’s to future employment confirmation letter
Landlord references (there is a specific form we have that you can give them)
Photo ID or Driver’s License
Pet Photo(s) if applicable
Documents supporting other sources of income including Social Security, disability, child support, etc.)
Two years tax returns if self employed
ONCE APPROVED, we will then need:
Confirmation letters from all utility companies proving that you have applied and been accepted for the transfer of utilities. No keys will be given on move in day without this information-that is how important it is.
Security deposit, water/sewer fee (if any), pet fee (if any) and pro-rated rent (if any)
Your move in costs will consist of
An application fee of $55 for each applicant
First month’s rent and security deposit
Any pet fees if applicable
Any pro-rated or utility charge due (if any)
your lease will be sent to all email addresses of all parties to the lease through echo-sign (our digital document management system). Please sign electronically. If you do not have access to a computer or email, then simply make sure that your agent makes arrangements for you to come in to the office to sign a hard copy. A copy of your lease will be given to you automatically.
All of our leasing agents are knowledgeable about the area and will personally show you the property that you are interested in. Best of all, this is a FREE service offered from Rental Partners to you. We offer quality properties and treat our tenants like family. We are available 24 hours a day to handle Emergency maintenance repairs (see what is an emergency repair). All deposits that are retained by us are kept in a FDIC insured bank (CNL) and returned properly according to the guidelines of Florida Law.
All of our properties are offered in accordance with Federal Fair Housing Laws. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap.
Our approval decisions are based on verifiable income, rental references, court records and the recommendation of an application processing vendor who bases their recommendations on a computer model analysis of credit and criminal reports. Rental Partners evaluates each person applying to live in its managed properties with a credit-risk scoring system. The scoring system serves as a model to estimate the credit risk that an applicant may not satisfactorily fulfill his/her lease obligations. Rental Partners will evaluate the measure of the credit risk associated with that applicant. If your application is rejected based on your credit-risk score, or accepted with certain additional conditions, you will be advised what factors most adversely affected your score. An applicant who is rejected based on his/her credit-risk score, or accepted with certain additional conditions, may obtain a copy of the consumer report(s) on which the credit-risk score was based, and may initiate an investigation to have any erroneous information contained in such reports corrected. The consumer reporting agency will advise you of the actions that you may take in order to do so.
Rental Partners conducts a criminal background search on each person applying to rent its managed properties. It is our policy not to accept prospective residents who have been charged with and/or convicted of certain felonies and/or misdemeanors. Prior to final acceptance of any applicant we will use an independent consumer reporting agency to search for public records of any such criminal background on that applicant. If the criminal background report indicates that one or more such felony and/or misdemeanor records were found, those records will be compared to established acceptance policies to determine whether or not the applicant may be accepted. If your application is rejected based on the discovery of public records that indicate an unacceptable criminal background, you will be given the name, address, and telephone number of the consumer reporting agency that provided the criminal background report to us. An applicant who is rejected based on such a criminal background report may obtain a copy of the report and may initiate an investigation to have any erroneous information contained in the report corrected. The consumer reporting agency will advise you of the actions that you may take in order to do so. There are no application refunds offered once your credit and background check has been completed.
Good credit is important to our application approval process. It is not however our only criteria. Strong income and rental references may help counter poor credit in our approval process. If your credit is marginal but your income and rental record is strong, we may approve your application with special conditions, such as paying a higher security deposit. Your agent will need to get approval from the homeowner in many cases as their approval is required to move forward on any application that can not be approved in house.
Most often the properties we manage are not available for purchase. From time to time we may offer a rent-to-own opportunity. If a property is being offered as rent-to-own it will be noted in the information for that property. If it is not noted, you can also inquire directly to our lead property manager for that property as to whether a purchase or lease-to-own is a possibility.
We do not “hold” properties and a property is not considered rented until a Residential Rental Agreement has been signed and a Security Deposit has been paid. If you application has been approved you will need to schedule an appointment to sign the lease and post your Binder Deposit (which is equal to the first month’s rental price) before other interested parties do so.
Our standard lease is for one year. There are some situations under which we might consider a shorter term lease. If you are interested in a short-term lease on a specific property, please inquire directly to our lead property manager for that property. We reserve the right to charge a higher rent for leases under one year.
We generally do not measure or provide square footages for our rental properties. For newer construction we do sometimes provide the as built square footage.
We strive to provide properties that are clean and ready-to-rent. When you view one of our properties, and have questions on it’s condition or cleanliness, please ask your agent directly so he/she can find the answer for you. It may be that scheduled work has not yet been completed. Also, please keep in mind that we manage properties ranging from brand new construction to homes over 75 years old. Brand new homes sometimes have “punch list items” which need attention. Older homes can often have their own issues, some of which just go with older homes and cannot be reasonably cured. (Some of these issues give older homes their character!) We cannot guarantee that every item you request will be replaced or repaired. When viewing the property, feel free to get answers to these questions from your rental agent before deciding to rent. If you find anything that is in need of repair after you move in, please bring any items of concern to the property managers attention by placing it on your “Move In Condition” Form that will be supplied to you at move in by your leasing agent. It is mandatory that this form is returned within 7 days of move in. After that date, we cannot accept any move in forms and the any issues found at move out will be charged towards the renter’s deposit. So you can see how important it is to turn in this form. We suggest you keep a copy for yourself as well.
Our rents are set based on the fair market rental for the property which has been agreed upon by the homeowner and the management company. Generally speaking, the rents are not negotiable.
The Security Deposit on all properties for rent is equal to one month’s rent unless a Security Deposit Special is noted. We also reserve the right to charge a higher Security Deposit depending on factors such as credit report findings and income.
Security deposits are required and held until after move out and a thorough walk through by management staff. They are to cover the landlord for any damage that might happen to his/her property during a tenant’s stay. That being said, the management will compare your move in condition form with the photos and move out condition when they walk through the property once keys have been returned. Any items agreed upon to be taken out of your deposit at lease signing (i.e.: a cleaning fee) will be deducted from your original deposit along with the cost of materials and labor to fix any damages to return the home back to its original condition (i.e: paint, carpet cleaning, drywall repair, stove pans, light bulbs, etc…). If all is good, then you could expect a security deposit return (within 30 days of move out) minus any originally agreed upon deductions at lease signing. If repairs are needed, then once the work has been completed and invoices have been received (within the 30 days), then the amount owed back to you will be sent along with a statement of charges. If you contest any charges, then management will request a written dispute asap.
Because we manage a variety of properties for a variety of clients we do not have one policy that applies to everyone. If at all possible we would like to accommodate prospective tenants with pets, unfortunately that is not possible for every home or apartment. Here a few general guidelines: If a pet is allowed, all pet records and shots must be provided and up to date prior to move in. If the property information states “yes” to pets then we allow certain pets with a pet fee or a pet deposit. There may still be restrictions as to the type and size of pets and indoor vs outdoor pets. If the property information states “no” then we do not allow pets at that property. If you absolutely want one of our “no pets” properties and believe that an exception should be made for you and your pet, please provide us with a written petition as to why and we will present it to our client, the property owner. These parameters are set by the homeowner prior to management taking over the property and we must abide by their wishes. Please do not get mad at your agent showing you the property or the property manager should you decide to get a pet mid-lease, as we cannot change the homeowner’s decision if they say no. Specific pet references from previous landlords can be very beneficial in the pet decision process. Pet Fees are non-refundable and do not apply to specific damage caused by your pet. Pet Deposits are non-refundable. Your regular Security Deposit will also be applied towards any pet damage. And proof of flea preventative medicine and current shot records will be requested prior to move in.